M.03.08.02 Application assessment considerations and responsibilities

  1. The general manager custodial must consult with the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki before deciding whether to approve a child’s placement (see [subsection 81A(4)(a) of the Corrections Act 2004]).
  2. The general manager custodial must seek the advice of a child development specialist before deciding whether to approve or end a child’s placement, unless it is clear from the circumstances that it is not necessary to seek that advice (see [subsection 81A(4)(b) of the Corrections Act 2004]).
  3. The general manager custodial may approve the emergency reception of a baby into prison following a check by the statutory child protection agency (Oranga Tamariki) and pending the consideration of the formal application.
  4. Consideration must be given to [section 6(1)(a) of the Corrections Act 2004] which states “the maintenance of public safety is the paramount consideration in decisions about the management of persons under control or supervision”.

    Key considerations for applications (including emergency applications):

    • Was the mother the child's / children’s primary caregiver, or will she likely be the primary caregiver upon release?
    • Does the mother have a conviction for violent or sexual offending against children?
    • Is there a suitable alternative caregiver and would they be able to provide care at short notice?
    • Have Oranga Tamariki been consulted? Would they support the mother in being the sole caregiver for the child?
    • Does a child development specialist need to be consulted?
    • Did this consultation identify any concerns about the appropriateness of the placement that cannot be mitigated?
    • Would placing the child/ren with their mother be inconsistent with any current Court Orders or applications?
    • Is the mother willing to complete all the required checks and processes?
    • Are there suitable facilities available for the mother and her child/ren?
    • Would placing the mother in the Mothers with Babies Unit (MBU) create any likely security or safety risks that cannot be managed / mitigated? (ie. Escape history, misconducts, behaviour in the unit, health and wellbeing history).
  5. Where possible, for all placement applications an admission panel will meet and provide recommendations to the general manager custodial, including support that can be provided [M.03.08.Form.04 Admissions panel recommendation].
    collaboration The multi-disciplinary admissions panel (the panel) is an opportunity to bring together the combined experience of key support people to focus on the support and wellbeing of mothers with children under the age of 24 months. Key members may include the General Manager Custodial, Social Worker, Principal Case Manager, Unit Principal Corrections Officer, a member of the prison health team, Midwife, and Support Service Worker. Where feasible the mother and whānau voices should also be present in the panel.

    Other staff and support people may join the panel where beneficial, such as Psychologists, Pou Tūhono / Pou Tikanga, Chaplains, and Case Managers. The collective knowledge will contribute to this discussion.

    Watch Point

    Where whānau and other supports are identified by the mother include them in this decision, and encourage their support throughout the mother and child’s time in the Mothers with Babies Unit (MBU). See [C.07 Support hui] for additional guidance.

  6. When making a recommendation and/or decision, consideration must be given to the principles contained in [section 5 of the Care of Children Act 2004]:
    1. a child must be protected from all forms of violence (as defined in [sections 9(2), 10, and 11 of the Family Violence Act 2018]) from all persons, including members of the child’s family, family group, whānau, hapū, and iwi:
    2. a child’s care, development, and upbringing should be primarily the responsibility of their parents and guardians:
    3. a child’s care, development, and upbringing should be facilitated by ongoing consultation and co-operation between their parents, guardians, and any other person having a role in their care under a parenting or guardianship order:
    4. a child should have continuity in their care, development, and upbringing:
    5. a child should continue to have a relationship with both their parents, and a child’s relationship with their family group, whānau, hapū, or iwi should be preserved and strengthened:
    6. a child’s identity (including, without limitation, his or her culture, language, and religious denomination and practice) should be preserved and strengthened.
  7. The general manager custodial must be satisfied that there are appropriate facilities available to accommodate the child’s placement.