Home for Life or Special Guardianship

If you are a caregiver for a child who is in the custody of Oranga Tamariki and a decision is made by the Family Court that a child cannot be cared for by their own family and you’re stepping up to become the permanent caregiver for this child, you can consider providing permanent care, either through Home for Life or Special Guardianship.
If you are a caregiver for a child who is in the custody of Oranga Tamariki and a decision is made by the Family Court that a child cannot be cared for by their own family and you’re stepping up to become the permanent caregiver for this child, you can consider providing permanent care, either through Home for Life or Special Guardianship.

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“Home for Life” is when caregivers apply for parenting and guardianship orders under The Care of Children Act 2004 . A parenting order sets out who has the day to day care of a child and what contact should occur for the parents or other important people in a child’s life. A Guardianship order normally appoints the caregivers as an additional guardian to enable important decisions to be made about a child.


“Special guardianship” is an alternative way of securing custody and guardianship of children who require a permanent care living arrangement. It provides the following:

  • providing the special guardians with the day-to-day care of the child until they are 18 years of age
  • allowing the ongoing role played by the guardians to be specified based on what is best for the child
  • enabling the Court to specify which guardianship rights will be shared between the special and existing guardians, and which rights (if any) will be held exclusively by the special guardian

The Law Shop team can explain each of the above options for you to consider and can find the option most suitable to you and your needs.  Contact us any time if you would like our assistance, or have questions about the process.

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