Gateway Assessments Review

The Gateway Assessment process is being reviewed to better meet the health, education and wellbeing needs of tamariki and rangatahi in care.

We know that we need to improve how we support tamariki and rangatahi to thrive and achieve their aspirations. Gateway Assessments are a process currently in place to identify and meet the health and education needs of tamariki and rangatahi in care, coming into care, or at risk of coming into care.  
Oranga Tamariki – the Ministry for Children, Manatū Hauora – the Ministry of Health, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand, and Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga – the Ministry of Education are leading the review, with support from Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority and Whaikaha – the Ministry of Disabled People.

How does a Gateway Assessment currently work?

When a child or young person comes to the attention of Oranga Tamariki, a social worker refers them to a Gateway Assessment Coordinator. The coordinator arranges for assessments by a health specialist, like a paediatrician, and an education professional.

Once the assessments have been completed, and other information like their family and health history has been collected, the Gateway Assessment Coordinator works with the social worker and health and education professionals to develop a plan to address the child’s health and education needs. This could include a referral to a GP for immunisations, a speech and language therapist, dental care, or for a teacher aide at school.

What is the Gateway Assessments Review aiming to achieve?

The Gateway Assessment Review is a priority action under the cross-agency Oranga Tamariki Action Plan. It’s an opportunity to make sure we are doing all we can to support the learning, health, and wellbeing of tamariki and rangatahi in the care of Oranga Tamariki.

Through the review, we’re aiming to:

  • listen to the experiences and aspirations of tamariki, rangatahi, whānau, and caregivers to inform a future process that will help them on their journey to oranga
  • understand current practices
  • develop and test ideas for what a better system might look like
  • make tangible recommendations for change.

What’s the process for the Gateway Assessment Review?

We will gather insights on what’s working and what needs to change, by directly talking to people and organisations who have experience with the process, and through an online survey.

To develop a process that keeps the needs of  tamariki, rangatahi, and whānau at the heart of what we do, we need to hear from a broad range of people and organisations, including:

  • representatives of care-experienced tamariki and rangatahi, including Māori, Pacific and disabled tamariki and rangatahi, and their families, whānau and caregivers
  • Iwi, Māori, Pacific, and community partners and providers that deliver Gateway Assessments or that Oranga Tamariki is working with
  • social workers, health and education professionals, Gateway Coordinators, advocates, peak bodies, and other agency staff.

We want to understand:

  • the needs and aspirations of tamariki, rangatahi, families, whānau and caregivers who access Gateway Assessments
  • current practices and experiences, including what is working well, what isn’t working well, and examples of good practice and innovation
  • how the process and system could be changed to better centre the needs and aspirations of tamariki and rangatahi and their families and whānau, and take a more holistic view of health, education and wellbeing.

We expect to make recommendations for changes to Gateway Assessments by the end of the year.

Published: June 23, 2023