Working with children

Children’s Teams

The Children’s Team approach is a way of working hand in hand with families and whānau to create safer lives for at-risk children. It's not another service, but it’s a different approach.

We work together with other agencies, non-government organisations and communities to put the child first and ensure their voices are heard. Together we share information and create one plan for each child.

Transition of Children’s Teams

Children’s Teams are one part of the current Oranga Tamariki early intervention system. The development of the future early intervention system will take time, and it’s important that tamariki and whānau receive the support they need while this happens.

Recent evaluations of the Children’s Teams have told us what is working well and what could be improved. In response, we will be gradually shifting the Children’s Teams to new, community-based approaches as these are developed. In the interim it will be business as usual for Children’s Teams which will continue to need the support of partner agencies and NGOs.

From 29 November 2019, Turanga Health commenced delivery of the coordination of services for children at risk of harm in Tairawhiti. The remaining nine Children’s Teams are currently at different levels of transition discussion with all teams expected to transition by 30 June 2021.

Making referrals to Children's Teams

This table of contacts will help you decide how to get in touch when making a referral. Scroll down for important information about how to make a referral. 



You think a child is in immediate danger:

Call the Police on 111.

You suspect a child has been experiencing chronic child abuse or neglect, or been physically or sexually assaulted:

Call our contact centre on 0508 326 459.


You have concerns about a child who is at risk of abuse or neglect, and you’re a professional or practitioner in Hamilton, Canterbury, Counties Manukau, Te Tai Tokerau,  Horowhenua/Ōtaki, Whanganui, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Marlborough.

Make a referral to the Children’s hub

If you have concerns about a child who is at risk of abuse or neglect and you're a professional or practitioner in Tairāwhiti.

Make a referral directly to Turanga Health

You have concerns about a child and you live outside one of the areas listed above:

Call our contact centre on 0508 326 459

How to make a referral to the Children’s Hub

The Hub is a contact point for frontline professionals and practitioners in the following areas that have Children’s Teams; Canterbury, Counties Manukau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Hamilton, Horowhenua/Ōtaki, Marlborough, Rotorua, Te Tai Tokerau and Whanganui.

The Hub undertakes an initial assessment of risk and needs of tamariki and their whānau, and identifies the most appropriate pathway to address those needs. 

Emergency or critical calls received by the Hub are forwarded straight to our national contact centre or emergency services like the Police. They could also be referred to a Children’s Team or a universal service.

Making a referral is quick and easy. To refer to the Hub, you can:

  • Call 0800 FOR OURKIDS (0800 367 687) Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm.

Children’s Hub
PO Box 78013
Grey Lynn
Auckland 1245

   When sending the referral, clearly label it as ‘private and confidential’.

Discuss the referral with the child and family

Although you don't need to have the consent of the family to make a referral to the Hub, it's best practice to have a conversation with the family first. Families are more likely to engage with a service if they've been made aware of the referral.

Review your records and the referral form to understand what's required

It's important the hub is given the best information available so they can complete a thorough initial assessment and identify the right pathway for the child and their whānau.

Talk to other practitioners involved

We know valuable information is gathered when professionals talk to each other. That way we get a good picture of what's happening in the child’s life. If possible, discuss your concerns with other professionals and practitioners involved with the child and whānau, and include this in the referral.

Call the hub if you have any questions

Got questions or need help to complete the referral?

Call the Hub on 0800 FOR OURKIDS (0800 367 687) Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm. Make sure to provide your contact details in case the Hub needs to contact you for more information.

After you’ve made the referral

The Hub's social workers will let you know the outcome of your referral. They may also call you if they need to clarify anything.

Making a referral directly in Tairāwhiti to Turanga Health - coordination of services for children at risk of harm

Discuss the referral with the child and family

While you don't have to have the family’s consent to make a referral it's best practice to discuss it with the family or whānau first.

When talking to the family, outline your concerns and tell them why the child’s health and development is at risk, and why you think the Children’s Team could help.

Understand what information is required

Providing the right information helps us make the right decisions, and ultimately helps the child and their whānau get the right help.

To collect the information required you'll need to:

  • review the service records you have for the child
  • discuss your concerns with other professionals and practitioners involved with the child, and ask them to use their records to provide information that informs your referral.

Complete the referral

Complete a paper referral form: Children's Team referral and consent form (PDF 208KB)

The completed form must be delivered by hand, mail or courier to Turanga Health.

Mailing address: 

Turanga Health
145 Derby St
PO Box 41

Don't email the form as it contains sensitive information. Clearly label the referral as ‘private and confidential’.