New Information Sharing Requirements – Oranga Tamariki and Ministry of Justice

Important for NZCCSS members to note!

New information sharing provisions come into force 1 July 2019.  Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Justice have released separate guidance on new information sharing provisions under the OrangaTamariki Act 1989  and the Family Violence Act 2019.

The Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 [Sections 65A to 66Q]

  • New provisions enable ‘child welfare and protection agencies, and some independent persons’, to request, use and share personal information for specific purposes relating to the safety and wellbeing of tamariki.
  • The definition of Child welfare and protection agencies includesAny social, family and community services that provides services under section 396 of the Oranga Tamariki Act” andAny person, body or organisations that provides regulated services under schedule 1 of the Children’s Act 2014”. [link to guidance document page 4].
  • There is no legal definition of ‘wellbeing’ in the legislation, but guidance is provided on page 10 of the guidance document.
  • One way to think about safety is as part of wellbeing, not a separate thing. If there is a safety issue then tamariki wellbeing will be affected. But not all wellbeing issues are safety issues”.
  • 66 C (a) (i) to (vi) sets out how information can be used. These include preventing and reducing risk, contributing to an assessment of risk or need, preparing, implementing or reviewing a prevention plan, carrying out any function in relation to family group conferences.

Guidance Information and links to related material:

Oranga Tamariki has published a range of resources to support the implementation of these provisions.

Guidance document Information Sharing to Support Tamariki Wellbeing and Safety: Guidance for sharing information across the child welfare and protection sector

Fact Sheet: Information sharing under the Oranga Tamariki Act to support tamariki wellbeing and safety

Flow Chart: A flow chart to support decision-making provides useful help Oranga Tamairk to support decision-making – Steps to follow when thinking about sharing information under section 66C

How the Oranga Tamariki and Family Violence documents work together:

The Ministry of Health has also published a useful overview on information sharing provisions targeted at the health sector:

The Ministry of Justice has published guidance on the Family Violence Act 2019

  • The Act allows information to be shared to identify, stop prevent family violence
  • NGOs are covered under the definition of family violence agency, social service practitioner who is providing social services as a registered social worker (See page 4 of the Act).
  • The Act allows personal information to be used to make a family violence risk or needs assessment, contribute to making, carrying a decision or plan relating family violence or to protect a victim from family violence.

Alongside Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Justice has prepared a range if guidance material to support the sector understand these new provisions:Sharing information safely: Guidance on sharing personal information under the Family Violence Act 2018

Decision Tree poster: Step by step guide to sharing information under the Family Violence Act 2018

Factsheet: A one pager summarising key areas of the information sharing provisions

 How the Family Violence and Oranga Tamariki guidance documents work together

Given the potential for overlap between their respective legislations, Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Justice, have produced guidance on when to share information under the Family Violence Act 2018 and the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989