If a social worker from Oranga Tamariki, or the police, think a child is being harmed or neglected, or is likely to be harmed or neglected, they can ask the Family Court to legally recognise that the child is in need of care and protection. This is called an application for a care and protection declaration.
If the social worker or the police think the child is in immediate danger, the Family Court can make an interim Custody Order without talking to the child’s parent, guardian or caregiver first. This means the child will be put in the care of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children until the judge can make a decision about whether to make the declaration.
At The Law Shop, we can work with you and your family if Oranga Tamariki has become involved in your life. If you have a child that has been removed from your care, we can offer advice on what to expect, discuss your legal options with you, and represent you in Family Court proceedings.
We also work with caregivers and foster families. Permanent care, also known as Home for Life, involves a legal process to enable you to become a child’s permanent caregiver when a decision is made by the Family Court that a child cannot be cared for by their own family. We can work with you on the plan and procedures to make it happen.