You can get help providing for the needs of the child in your care
Support is available to you if you are a permanent caregiver as follows:
- you are a special guardian
- you have orders under the Care of Children act 2004 in substitution for orders or a section 140 agreement under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
- you provide a permanent living arrangement for a child or young person who has been in the custody of the Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children (previously Child, Youth and Family) or an approved social service provider, but you have no legal orders in place. Who is eligible?
Permanent Caregiver Support Service (PCSS)
From 1 July 2016 the Permanent Caregiver Support Service (PCSS) has been supporting caregivers providing permanent homes for children and young people who cannot live with their parents. Support required is coordinated by the PCSS, a social service provided by Kiistone under delegated authority from the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children (previously the Ministry of Social Development).
The PCSS team are qualified and registered social workers and are available to permanent caregivers from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday apart from statutory holidays.
The service provides financial and other assistance to permanent caregivers, both kin and non kin, in accordance with the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.
Permanent Caregivers - requests for financial and other assistance
Permanent caregivers already providing permanent care for a child or young person placed by Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children (previously CYF) or an approved social service provider can contact the PCSS at any time up until the child or young person in their care is 18 to request financial and other assistance. A PCSS social worker will discuss what a caregiver may be entitled to based on the criteria in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and what is required to meet the needs of the child. Once approved planned support will be provided to caregivers to help meet the needs of the child or young person.
If you are not happy with a decision the PCSS make about the support you have requested, you can talk to us about having decisions reviewed and/or access the Review of Decision form from the FAQs section of this website. The form will need to be sent or emailed to the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (previously the Ministry of Social Development). The Ministry will review the decision and communicate directly with you.
Caregivers in the Process of Applying for Permanent Legal Orders - referrals for financial and other assistance
The PCSS will manage referrals from Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children (previously Child, Youth and Family) or an approved social service provider for caregivers contemplating, or in the process of, taking permanent orders for a child placed in their care. The referring social worker will consult with the PCSS social worker as they are working with the caregiver to develop a support plan. This support plan, once agreed to, can provide support for up to 12 months. The PCSS will implement this plan once orders are made and coordinate the support agreed to in the plan.
At the end of the plan period the PCSS will review the plan to see whether the caregiver needs ongoing support and, if so, what support is required for the caregiver to be able to meet the needs of the child. Any support agreed to must meet the criteria in s388A of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.