We continue to work with tamariki, whānau, caregivers and victims in Alert Level 1, following safe health and hygiene practices, responding quickly where COVID-19 is suspected.


Report a concern

Our service

We are available, accessible and connected to the community with the ability to modify our service approach as alert levels change.

We continue to work in a way that keeps everyone safe and is in line with Ministry of Health guidelines. 

Report a concern

During recent weeks COVID-19 restrictions have changed who contacts us. Now schools and other providers are opening up it's important teachers, grandparents and others in the community contact us if you are worried about a child or young person.

If something doesn’t feel right, call us on freephone: 0508 326 459 or email

Preparing for more families needing our support

Our teams are talking to Police child protection teams daily to check in on at-risk families. And we’re working closely with NGO partners in response to reports of family harm and reports of concern.

Social work

Safe practice

Our social workers will resume usual face-to-face engagement including home and office visits, family group conferences, hui and whānau contact arrangements without restriction. However, alternative or remote forms of engagement may continue to be appropriate where:

  • individuals are unwell, experiencing symptoms of cold or flu, are required to self isolate or are being quarantined
  • tamariki, whānau or caregivers have expressed a specific preference, particularly if this relates to a health or wellbeing concern
  • it is likely to promote more effective engagement and participation as an alternative to, or in combination with, meeting face to face.

Social workers maintain high standards of personal hygiene and will do a health check before a visit. All person-to-person contact in practice settings is recorded for the purpose of contact tracing.

We remain sensitive to the ongoing social, economic, cultural and physical impact COVID-19 has on the mental wellbeing of tamariki, whānau and caregivers. We have a continued role, alongside our partners, to support and promote resilience and recovery.

Modified ways of working

Where necessary we'll review and make changes to plans put in place during previous alert levels, addressing things that had the most impact on tamariki and whānau and reconnecting them to support networks such as school and whānau.

To see in more detail how we have modified our practice in response to COVID-19, visit our Practice Centre website

Data snapshot

Operational reporting in Levels 4 to 1

To have oversight of our operating system during the pandemic we have established weekly operational reporting of key statistics. These include reports of concern, entries into care and referrals to youth justice family group conferences.

COVID-19 Oranga Tamariki Statistics June 2020 provides a snapshot of operations since early March 2020 (three weeks before the start of Alert Level 4) until the most recent available time period for each measure (prior to 9 June 2020). It also includes comparison to the same time last year.

This data is helping us target our efforts and plan our response and recovery. 

Contact tracing

Alert Level 1

Contact tracing is one of the most important tools we have to ensure we don’t lose the gains we made in lockdown.

We've been asked by the Ministry of Health to assist with this task which allows health officials to quickly track down and test people who may have been exposed.  

Oranga Tamariki will continue to record all of the people that our children and young people, caregivers and staff have close contact with. Close contact is defined as face-to-face contact with someone in any setting within two metres, for 15 minutes or more.

We’ve asked all our staff, sites and residences to keep these records.

What this means for Oranga Tamariki caregivers

We’re asking our caregivers to still keep a daily record of close contacts for all members of their household. 

There is also detailed information in our COVID-19 section for caregivers.

Caregivers with questions or concerns about this process should contact their caregiver social worker, or call us on 0508 227 377

What this means for our partners

We’re asking our partners to still record all of the people that their staff, caregivers, and children and young people in their care have close contact with.

This means we’re asking them to follow the same processes as we are, for their staff, caregivers, and sites/offices and residences.

Partners with questions should contact their Partnering for Outcomes relationship manager.


Our caregivers are a top priority and we’re giving them extra support. This plan includes things like schooling, whānau contact, home visits and respite care.

We’ve asked caregivers to contact us immediately if someone in their household falls ill with cold or flu like symptoms, so that we can support them as soon as possible. We’re also advising them to contact their doctor or Healthline to arrange a COVID-19 test.

Partners and practitioners

As the Government's funders of social services, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Oranga Tamariki, the Department of Corrections, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministries of Justice, Health and Education are continuing to work closely together to develop a shared approach during the different alert levels.

Published: July 30, 2020