Te Tohu o te Ora: 2019/2020 Methodology Report - A Companion Report to Te Mātātaki 2021

Oranga Tamariki Voices of Children and Young People Team (2021)


Launched in 2019, Te Tohu o te Ora (the survey; known originally as the Children’s Experiences Survey) is a voluntary survey designed to regularly collect populationlevel, representative data about the experiences of tamariki and rangatahi in the custody of the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children (Oranga Tamariki). The survey contains questions about experiences that tamariki and rangatahi in care have said are important to them, and which support them to thrive (Oranga Tamariki, 2018a; 2018b). Te Tohu o te Ora was commissioned by the Oranga Tamariki Leadership Team.

The 2019/2020 survey is the first of an annual series of surveys that will provide a mechanism for Oranga Tamariki to hear from tamariki and rangatahi themselves about how they are doing, identify system improvements, and track changes over time in their collective experiences. The Oranga Tamariki Voices of Children and Young People team (Voices of Children team) manages the survey, sponsored by the Tamariki Advocate, Deputy Chief Executive Voices of Children. In 2019/2020, the first year the survey was conducted, the survey was rolled out regionally to all 12 Oranga Tamariki Services for Children and Families regions, with social workers at each site administering the survey (there are several sites within each Oranga Tamariki region).

The survey was implemented in two to four Oranga Tamariki regions at a time across four survey rounds. This report presents the methodological approach to the first wave of the survey conducted between March 2019 and September 2020. Tamariki and rangatahi across New Zealand were offered the chance to participate in the survey if they were aged 10 to 17 years, were in the Care and Protection custody of the Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive and had been for at least 30 days. Considerable effort was made to offer the survey to as many tamariki and rangatahi as possible who met the inclusion criteria.

This methodology report is a companion to Te Mātātaki, which presents the findings from Te Tohu o te Ora and what Oranga Tamariki is doing to respond to these findings.

The purpose of this methodology report is to:

  • document the approach to developing the survey and record key decisions to enable replication in future years
  • provide academics and other external audiences with detailed information about the survey methodology and analytical approach.

The following table provides a summary of the key methodological elements of the survey.