From October to November 2016, Office of the Children's Commissioner conducted a review of six Child, Youth and Family (CYF) sites. This review was in preparation for the establishment of Oranga Tamariki in April 2017. The review confirmed that high quality preparation for family group conferences (FGCs) is important both for engagement of children and young people and their whānau in FGCs and the subsequent quality of FGC plans. At the time of our visits, pre-FGC practices varied hugely across different sites.
The office concluded that as part of the transformation of CYF into Oranga Tamariki, there was a significant challenge ahead to ensure children and young people and their whānau are adequately prepared for FGCs and that groundwork has been properly laid for FGC involvement. Since further visits, the office has been encouraged by the efforts made by Oranga Tamariki to improve FGC preparation.