Oranga Tamariki owns up to their mistakes

By Te Ao - Māori News

Oranga Tamariki will be making immediate changes to the uplifting of children taken into care following the release of the Practice Review report which focussed on the events that took place at Hasting’s Hospital in May this year.

Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive, Grainne Moss, says she is disappointed with the outcome of the review and had this to say to the whānau at the heart of the matter. "I know we hurt this whānau - and I am truly sorry,: she says.

Moss also acknowledges that the processes they undertook in May were not of a high standard which initially failed the family involved.

"While there were safety concerns for this baby, we didn't do a good job for this family and that is unacceptable."

The review led by Grant Bennett. Oranga Tamariki Chief Social Worker, and overseen by Shayne Walker (Ngāti Kahungunu), Ngahiwi Tomoana Chief Executive of Ngāti Kahungunu as well as representatives from the office of the Children’s Commission. 

The review found the a lack of commitment by the Ministry to seek the best outcomes for all members of the whānau involved and they relied to much on past family history rather than understanding their current sittuation.

It also found that the Ministry didn't try hard enough to explore other options with the wider family members or build any kind of relationships with the whānau themselves.

However Oranga Tamariki are now committed to creating change to ensure this never happens again.

  • All interim custody order applications will be made on notice to ensure the family have their say before a judge
  • In the event of Section 78 'without notice' the application will go through a Regional Legal Manager, a Site Manager and a Practice Leader.
  • More training and resources will be provided to staff members

Moss says the review has shown she needs to create a change in the organisation.

"I am committed to meet with every site in the Country to talk to my staff about the high level of proffessional practice I expect from them."

She adds, "To improve the future of our most vulnerable young people will take a lot of hard work and we can't do it alone."