WHEN YOU ARE AWAY FROM HOME

When you’re in care and living away from home, it can be a trying and often confusing time. Importantly, you should be provided with more than just a bed and regular meals.  You should expect to feel welcome, be cared for well and be treated well.

New Zealand law and government policy sets down basic standards (“rules”) that apply to you so that you are safe when you’re in care.  If these standards are not met, then there are several things that can be done for you to get things changed.

KNOW

1

Know why you’re in care and live in a home with trust, respect and care

ARE SAFE

2

Are safe from harm including mental, physical, verbal and sexual abuse

HAVE A SAY

3

Have a say in decisions about you and be informed on what’s happening to you and why

HAVE CONTACT

4

Have contact with people important to you and to know why if you can’t

GET THINGS

5

Get things like clothes, pocket money, toys, and books and know that you can ask how to get them

HAVE PRIVACY

6

Have things of your own, privacy and reasonable freedom as long as you follow house rules

GET SUPPORT

7

Get support to understand your culture, religion, language and things that are important to you

ARE AWARE

8

See what’s written about you, know who has this information and be told why if you can’t see it

FEELINGS

9

Get help to manage and understand your feelings

GET HEALTHCARE

10

Get the right healthcare so you’re as healthy as you can be

GO TO SCHOOL

11

Go to school and have help with your homework

BUILD SKILLS

12

Build skills, knowledge and experience to help you become independent

HAVE TRUST

13

Have trusted adults who will listen to you

BE HEARD

14

Can tell someone if you feel you’re not being listened to or getting the support you need

It’s ok to have your say

If you have an experience with Oranga Tamariki whether good or bad, you can have a say.

HAVE YOUR SAY

SPEAK UP

If you have an experience with Oranga Tamariki, whether good or bad, you can have a say. You might have a suggestion about something they could do better, or maybe something happened that you think was unfair or unsafe. If you have something you’re concerned about, it’s best if you can try to sort it out with the person you’ve been dealing with first.

If you can’t do this, or you’re still not happy with how things are, you can call FREE 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459) or go to the Oranga Tamariki website to find out more about different ways to have your say. You can also speak to someone at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner on 0800 224 453.

Most importantly, if you want help getting your point across you can ask for help from a VOYCE advocate. They can help you write down your concern, speak on your behalf or come with you to a meeting to talk about the issue you’ve raised. We call these awesome people our Kaiwhakamana and you can reach out to one of them by calling 0800 4VOYCE (0800 486 923)

An advocate could be:

  • Someone in your family / whānau

  • Someone who looks after you (like a foster carer)

  • Someone from Oranga Tamariki that you trust and get along with

  • Your teacher or another adult in your life

YouthLaw Aotearoa is a free community law centre for children and young people nationwide.

YouthLaw

CONVERSATION STARTERS

Sometimes you may feel that it’s hard to bring things up with your caregiver or social worker. This is not a unique problem to you, it is one that a lot of kids in care have to deal with.

If there are things on your mind and you are wondering about how to approach the topic or when it might be a good to talk, here are some conversation tips to help you along.

WRITE

Write things down first.

Before you get to your conversation, write down what it is that you want to talk about so you won’t forget any details.

TEXT

Start with a text.

It can be easier to bring stuff up if you start with a text message to your caregiver or social worker.
E.g“Hi …., There are some things on my mind at the moment, when is a good time for me to talk to you about this privately?”

QUIET TIME

Make a quiet time for you to talk.

Rather than acting out of anger or frustration, find a time where you can talk calmly and bring across what it is you need to say.

THINK

Think about what you hope to get out of the conversation.

So then you can say why you want to talk and what it is you need . E.g “I need to tell you about a problem I’m having, but I just need you to listen rather than give me advice, ok? I want you to know what’s been bothering me”

ASK

Just ask.

Sometimes, all you need to do is say “Hey, I’d really like to talk to you about something can we speak now?”. Remember, your caregiver or social worker is there to support you and you should expect to be heard.

FEELINGS

Think about how you’re feeling.

Worried? Scared? Angry? Instead of letting feelings overwhelm you or stop you from talking, put them into the conversation. That way your caregiver or social worker knows that you’re feeling uncomfortable.
E.g “I need to talk to you about something but it’s kind of embarrassing”

Tried talking but feel like you’re not being listened to?

VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai

0800 4VOYCE (0800 486 923)

or simply contact us via the CHAT BUTTON the bottom right of our website

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner

0800 224 453

Child Rights Advice Line 

0800 224 453
Available Monday and Wednesday 9am to 5pm, Thursday 9am to 4pm.