A caregiver who has had a child/young person placed with them permanently by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (previously CYF) or an approved social service provider may be eligible for financial and other assistance. To be eligible a caregiver must meet the definition of a permanent caregiver in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989.
A permanent caregiver is a caregiver who:
- has had a child or young person placed with them permanently by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (previously Child, Youth and Family) or an approved social service provider; and
In addition to caregivers who fit under the definition of 'permanent caregiver' in the Act a caregiver without any legal orders may be eligible for financial and other assistance where:
- a child or young person was placed with them by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (previously Child, Youth and Family) permanently and
- there was agreement that the permanent care arrangement did not need any legal orders once custody orders to the Chief Executive were discharged.
Note: Caregivers with section 101 custody orders under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 for a child or young person placed with them permanently do not meet the definition of 'Permanent Caregiver'. They are not entitled to financial and other assistance from the Permanent Caregiver Support Service but can continue to be supported where required through a section 86 Services Order or a section 91 Support Order.
Financial and Other Assistance
A permanent caregiver is responsible for the reasonable day to day care costs of a child in their care. Sometimes there are needs that a child in care has that result from the child's earlier care and protection experience or relate to a specific extraordinary need. In these situations permanent caregivers can now access individually tailored support - financial or non financial - to help them meet the needs of the child into the future.
The Permanent Caregiver Support Service social workers are available to talk through specific requests for assistance from caregivers and plan with them.
Assistance must be provided under the legislation (s388A(2) of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989) where the need:
- arises as a result of the child's:
- care and protection needs or
- extraordinary health needs or
- extraordinary education needs or
- extraordinary developmental needs and
- is more than what is reasonable to expect the caregiver to fund and
- cannot be met by existing sources of support and is unlikely to be provided otherwise and
- is reasonable to be provided by the Chief Executive and
- the provision of assistance is consistent with any general or special directions given to the Chief Executive in writing by the Minister.
Assistance may be provided where the need doesn't fit the above criteria by the exercise of a legislative discretion also delegated to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service. Any assistance provided under discretion would be to help the permanent caregiver to care for the child or young person. A decision made under this discretion is not reviewable.