C.13 Safeguard children and young person
In any situation where a member of staff believes that a child or young person is suffering abuse or neglect steps should be taken to bring these concerns to the attention of Oranga Tamariki, or if there is imminent danger, the Police. This applies whether or not there is a protection or restraining order in force, and regardless of your position in the department.
C.13.01 Reporting of child abuse and protection of person reporting ill-treatment or neglect of a child or young person
- Any Corrections employees who believe that a child or young person has been, or is likely to be, harmed (whether physically, emotionally, or sexually), ill-treated, abused, neglected, or deprived should report the matter to Oranga Tamariki or the Police.
- The Child Protection Policy offers information and links to the guidance about child abuse and how respond, should you need further advice or direction about next steps.
- Disclosure of this information is permitted by [section 15 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989]. The limitations of the [Privacy Act 2020] do not apply.
- No civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings shall be taken against any person in respect of the disclosure or supply of information concerning a child or young person (whether or not that information also concerns any other person), unless the information was disclosed or supplied in bad faith (the [Oranga Tamariki Act 1989]).
If you believe a child or young person is in serious and imminent danger you should report the matter to the Police as they have the authority to act immediately and intervene in emergency situations.
- Oranga Tamariki or the Police will inform the person who made the report whether or not the report has been investigated and if so, whether any further action has been taken with respect to it, unless it is impracticable to do so.
C.13.02 Reports of Concern
- Prison staff (including chaplains, nurses, social workers, corrections officers and managers), who become aware of present or past offending against children or young persons through their contact with people in prison, or where people in prison disclose that they are worried about their children's current living arrangements, or that they committed offences against children, should immediately discuss their concerns with either the unit PCO, manager or prison director.
Staff should discuss children or young person concerns with either their unit PCO, manager or prison director and can also call 0508 CYF Link (0508 293 5465) for further practice advice.
*refer to link Reporting concerns – Resources, guidelines, and FAQ for further information.
- If a person in prison has disclosed concerns relating to the safety of a child’s current living arrangements, prison staff in conjunction with the unit PCO, manager or prison director, should discuss the concerns with the person (where practical and safe) and provide information to them about Oranga Tamariki.
- If it is not appropriate to discuss the matter, or where the person in prison is unwilling to act to protect the safety or well-being of the child or young person, the staff member in conjunction with the unit PCO, manager or prison director should disclose information to Oranga Tamariki or the Police.
- Staff document concerns they have in case notes. Case notes will include if a ‘Report of concern’ to Oranga Tamariki or the Police has been completed. The case note should also be updated with the outcome of the report.
Recording ‘Reports of concern’ to Oranga Tamariki are to be completed using REFER online.
See [C.13.Res.01 Refer online - User Guide - POI 16 Report of Concern].
- If a decision is made not to report the matter to Oranga Tamariki or the Police the reasons must be recorded and signed-off by the appropriate unit PCO, manager or prison director, and recorded in IOMS case notes where appropriate.