Supporting oranga for disabled people

Our Oranga Tamariki disability strategy.

Over the last two years we have worked alongside tāngata whaikaha who have lived experience of care and protection and/or youth justice services and those who support them to develop an Oranga Tamariki disability strategy.

The strategy has been approved by Te Riu, our leadership team, and we are now focusing on implementation.

View the full strategy on a page. [PDF, 121 KB]

Our vision

The mana of disabled people and their champions is upheld by meeting their needs, upholding their rights, and supporting their hopes and dreams.

The four key shifts needed to achieve our vision

Shift one: Oranga Tamariki takes a whole of life approach to disability, understanding disability is only one component of who disabled people are and that disability can be a collective experience for disabled people and their champions. 

Shift two: Systems work for people. Disabled people and their champions experience connected, rights based, consistent and transparent, children and disability systems.

Shift three: We have a disability competent workforce. The Oranga Tamariki workforce have the skills and expertise, including cultural competency, to work with Disabled people and their champions.

Shift four: Disabled people and their champions are listened to, ensuring Oranga Tamariki is safe and proactive.

Our four activity focus areas

Our implementation activities will focus on the following four areas. Completing an activity under any one of these focus areas will help us achieve two or more shifts. 

Transitions: Transitions includes any kind of significant change – coming into care or youth justice, changing placements, starting, or changing schools, returning to whānau, and leaving care or youth justice. All tamariki and rangatahi in care experience these transitions, but these times are especially significant for disabled children and young people.

Data, Research and Evaluation: Disaggregated data on disabled tamariki and rangatahi in care is critical for understanding our population, working across the system, and projecting the types and levels of support needed in the future.

Competency, Capacity and Capability: Oranga Tamariki staff from the frontline to the Chief Executive, and those we contract with, are disability competent. This means that all kaimahi have a baseline level understanding of a social- and rights-based model of disability and know where to look for specialist information when it's required.

Caregiving: Caregiving in this context expands thinking about 'caregivers' as a group of people who look after tamariki and rangatahi in the care of the Chief Executive to include whānau caregivers, & those caring for tamariki and rangatahi in residential care settings

Next steps: implementing the strategy

Now that we have an approved disability strategy, we need your support to implement and embed the strategy into our everyday ways of working.

We are working with our Disability Advisory Group to ensure the stories you shared with us are central to our implementation plan. As we progress, we will provide updates and opportunities for you get involved – we want to hear from you that the way we work with disabled people and their champions is changing for the better. 

In the meantime, if you want additional information or have any questions, please email

Sign up for regular updates here.

Read more about the prototype definition of disability


Published: March 21, 2024