Child, Youth & Family
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Child, Youth and Family is the statutory child protection agency in New Zealand. It is a service of the Ministry of Social Development, and is part of a network of agencies aiming to build an environment where child abuse is not tolerated.
On this page, you will find information on
- Child, Youth and Family Complaints process
- Information for Child, Youth and Family caregivers
- Child, Youth and Family's Care and Protection process
- Care and Protection Family Group Conference (FGC)
- Youth Justice process
Child, Youth and Family Complaints process
Child, Youth and Family operates its own internal complaints process. If you have a concern about the handling of a case, you should first try to resolve it with the child's social worker. Find out more about Child, Youth and Family's complaints process (PDF, 138.4 kB).
If you still remain dissatisfied after you have completed the complaints process, you can complain to the Office of the Ombudsmen or the Office of the Children's Commissioner. If your complaint is about a reigstered social worker's practice, you can complain to the Social Worker's Registration Board.
||Level 14, 70 The Terrace, WELLINGTON 6011
||PO Box 10 152, The Terrace, WELLINGTON 6143
||Complaints - 0800 802 602
General enquiries - (04) 473 9533
||(04) 471 2254
Office of the Children's Commissioner
|Find out how to contact the Office of the Children's Commissioner through the Contact Us page.
||Level 8, 111 - 115 Customhouse Quay, WELLINGTON 6011
||PO Box 10 150, The Terrace, WELLINGTON 6143
(04) 931 2650
||(04) 931 2651
Information for Child, Youth and Family caregivers
If you are a Child, Youth and Family caregiver, or you wish to become one, you can find the information you require by visiting the Child, Youth and Family caregivers website. The website offers comprehensive information including the Charters for children and young people in care, and the Caregivers' Handbook, April 2008.
Child, Youth and Family's Care and Protection process
If you are involved with Child, Youth and Family, or if you know someone who is, then the information below may be helfpul. It outlines the process used when handling cases of child abuse and neglect. It covers the three steps of reporting child abuse, gathering information, and involvement by Child, Youth and Family and/or other agencies. Click on the relevant step to find out more about it. The information contained on these links is also available in the fact sheet.
- Download the care and protection fact sheet (PDF, 76.6 kB)
Care and Protection Family Group Conference (FGC)
A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a formal meeting between members of a child's or young person's family and Child, Youth and Family. Other people may attend to contribute information and participate in the discussion.
FGC's are facilitated by a dedicated FGC co-ordinator and arrive at decisions to ensure that the child or young person's safety and well-being is secured.
They can be held if, following a Child, Youth and Family investigation, a social worker, a member of Police, or a staff member from another agency, forms a belief that a child or young person is in need of care and protection.
If the family agree on an outcome, a plan is developed. Copies of the plan are distributed to everyone and progress will be monitored. If there is no agreement, the matter will go back to Child, Youth and Family to make a decision as to what further action can be taken. Often in this situation, the case is referred to the Family Court.
Youth Justice process
The youth justice process in New Zealand aims to keep young people out of the criminal justice system wherever possible. The system requires making young people accountable for their actions in a manner which is appropriate to their age and their offence.
There are ages for criminal responsibility in New Zealand:
- a child under 10 years old cannot be charged with a criminal offence
- a child aged 10 or over, but under 14, cannot be prosecuted for a criminal offence except for murder or manslaughter
- a young person aged 14 or over, but under 17, can appear in the Youth Court on criminal charges, or, if the charges are serious, they can appear before the District Court or the High Court
- a person aged 17 or over will be dealt with by the District Court for all criminal charges.
More information about the youth justice process can be found by downloading the youth justice factsheet (PDF, 109.7 kB)