Te Tai Tokerau Principals Have Little Confidence In Oranga TamarikiKeeping Kids’ Safe
In a very recent survey of Principals in Te Tai Tokerau, about their experiences working with Oranga Tamariki, nearly 90% said they do not have confidence that when they refer children to Oranga Tamariki in Te Tai Tokerau, that OT’s intervention will ensure the child is safe and the reason for the referral, is taken care of through OT’s intervention.
Pat Newman President of TTPA said that the survey of members resulted in 72 responding, a high response, especially as most of the survey was conducted over the holidays, and many of the principals who didn’t, don’t necessarily deal a lot with Oranga Tamariki.
Approximately 40% said their experiences were frustrating and not confident Oranga Tamariki are driven by the needs of the children. Only 6% said it was a fantastic experience!
60% said that OT did not response to their Reports of Concern in a reasonable time.
Only 38% felt that Oranga Tamariki staff took a lot of notice of their concerns, with over 12% saying that OT staff had even gone against their strongest recommendations.
94% of principals felt that they were not kept updated with regards backgrounds, action taken and needs of children by OT Staff.
95% of Principals answered No to whether they were told when pupils at their school were no longer involved with Oranga Tamariki.
Nearly 50% of Principals answered No to when dealing with Oranga Tamariki staff have they found them to always be honest and truthful.
Over 60% said they did not feel that there had been any dramatic improvement in service from the days of CYF to Oranga Tamariki with only 9% saying yes there had been.
Pat Newman said that some teachers and principals, had even had complaints levelled at them alleging intimidation when all they were doing was to try and get Oranga Tamariki to do what it is there for: - to keep children safe.
“The results are appalling!” said Pat Newman. “When I asked the questions I had had my own experiences but wanted to genuinely find out how my colleagues found their experiences with Oranga Tamariki. For too long we have waited for changes to be effective. All we have seen is name changes but the old culture continues on.
There is no doubt that there are dedicated Social Workers involved at OT, but the system doesn’t work, and I have to place the fault at leadership. Leadership from the bottom down to Wellington. Leadership that allows this situation to continue year after year. Leadership that overrides sensible decisions. Leadership that confuses accountability and frustration with intimidation. Leadership that doesn’t even follow its own requirements under the Vulnerable Children’s Act of working closely with the sector, e.g. schools.
It’s about putting the needs of children above all else. It’s about being accountable to the community for their actions.
Principals in Te Tai Tokerau clearly do not believe this is happening.”