How we keep children safe

When a report of concern is made for a child, we follow steps to assess the family and home situation and the safety of the child, before acting.

Our process

We look to provide early support for whānau and families and opportunities for them to care safely for their children. We only consider seeking custody of a child in circumstances of serious harm and when no other option exists to keep the child safe.

Safe, stable and loving homes

It's then that we look to place a child with a member of their wider family, whānau, hapū, iwi, or family group or someone in the family network who is able to meet their needs. This includes providing a safe, stable and loving home until it is safe to reconnect the child with their family or whānau. 

Custody decisions

Decisions to seek custody are the most serious a social worker will ever make. They don't make these decisions alone but with professional supervision and using agreed tools and approaches.

Find out more about the steps we take in this section.

Published: November 4, 2019 · Updated: January 27, 2023