Becoming a caregiver

Becoming a caregiver can be a big decision for you and your whānau. It’s a very important role which is why there are several steps. 

How long it takes to become a caregiver depends on several things. We'll support you along the way.

There are 5 steps to follow.

Teen and his social worker hongi

1. Enquiry

Complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you to talk about caregiving and answer any questions you have.

Enquire now

2. Making an application

To apply you must complete an application. We'll give you an application pack either in person or send it by email or post. You choose. 

If you have any questions or need support completing your application, just give us a call on

0508 CARERS - and select option 1 for caregiver enquires.

The application pack

This includes:

  • application forms
  • medical forms for your doctor to complete
  • a request for the names and details of 2 people to be referees
  • a request for 2 types of identification and consent to go ahead with Police vetting and searching our records for any existing information we may have
  • a request for 2 forms of identification for household members and regular visitors who are 18 years and older
  • authorisation forms, through which you, household members and visitors give consent for us to do the required formal checks, such as Police vetting and searching our records for any existing information.

When tamariki come into care, a caregiver social worker will be there to give their on-going support. At the outset, your caregiver social worker will work with you to develop a support plan to identify your needs and how we can best support you to care for the tamariki that are in your care.

3. Prepare to care and learning opportunities

We’re here to support caregiving whānau on their caregiving journey.

All caregivers have the opportunity to take part in the Prepare to Care programme, which is designed to help them begin their journey as a caregiver with confidence. The goal of the programme is to ensure you have the required support, an understanding of your role and are ready to support the tamariki in your care, in a way that is tailored to your needs.

Learning opportunities are a significant part of caregiver support and make a significant contribution to providing safe, stable, loving care for tamariki. Caregiver social workers will explore opportunities with caregivers to connect, share, learn and engage with professionals that could benefit their whānau to meet the needs of tamariki and maintain their own hauora.

4. Your assessment

A social worker from your nearest Oranga Tamariki office will get in touch to kōrero with you about your assessment and learning.

We also need to do an assessment of your household to ensure that tamariki will be in a safe, stable and loving home where their needs are responded to and their oranga nurtured.  

A social worker will meet you at home to talk over several things. These include: 

  • your experience and strengths
  • your ability to promote oranga
  • your ability to nurture different cultures
  • the safety of your home and vehicle
  • what support you might need as you provide care for tamariki.

5. Ready to care

We'll keep in touch throughout the process to let you know how your application is progressing. Once you have been assessed and completed the learning, we'll let you know if you have become an approved Oranga Tamariki caregiver.  

Published: February 14, 2023 · Updated: February 14, 2023