Children's Team Panel

The right professionals working together so children benefit in real time. Image of children's workforce

This page contains information on the Children’s Team Panel (the Panel); membership, role and responsibilities, and how it works.


What is the Children's Team Panel?

The Children's Team Panel is a group of senior practitioners and professionals from across the social, education, health, police and justice sectors in their community. The Panel:

  • makes decisions on incoming referrals to the Children's Team to accept children and their family/whanau into the Children's Team
  • reviews the progress of assessments, plans and reviews of children and family/whanau involved with the Children's Team
  • provides advice and guidance to Lead Professionals.


The Children's Team Panel provides a focus on the quality of Children’s Team actions to ensure the provision of safe and effective planned services and care to children and their families in Children’s Teams.

The Panel is also a place of support for practitioners and professionals to go to seek advice and guidance as they work alongside a child and their family and whānau - until the case is exited from a Children’s Team.


Panel membership is open to the Children’s Team community, including non-government and community organisations as well as government agencies.

The members are senior experienced child and family wellbeing practitioners and professionals from across the health, education, social and justice sectors, and may also include iwi/Māori and non-government representatives.

To see how you can get involved, talk to your Manager and contact your local Children’s Team.


The role of the Panel is to provide multi-disciplinary oversight to the Lead Professional and Child’s Action Network throughout the referral, assessment, planning, and implementation and review process.

The Panel members also play a significant role in ensuring their home agency has a good understanding of the Children’s Team approach. Panel members ensure there are no barriers to accessing their own agency’s services and their service is actively engaged with Children’s Teams, for example as part of the Child’s Action Network.

The key role and responsibilities for the Panel are described in their Terms of Reference. [PDF, 391 KB]

How the Children's Team Panel works

For each child that is referred to the Children’s Team, the Panel assesses whether or not the Children’s Team is the best form of support for that child and their family and whānau. Since the Panel are senior members from all sectors and reflect their community - this gives different perspectives, knowledge and views so that all aspects of the child’s wellbeing are considered when making a decision.

The Panel use the checklist of prompt questions to guide the decision-making as to whether or not a referral meets the Children’s Teams entry criteria. [DOCX, 595 KB]

The prompts have been written based on the ideal state of a child’s needs being met, however professional judgement will still need to be applied when deciding what the best response is for each child.

Once the decision has been made to accept a referral, the most appropriate Lead Professional is identified for the child based on discussion between the Panel members.

The Panel may also provide advice on the need for additional specialist assessments, depending on the knowledge and expertise of the professional or practitioner. The Panel may also consider risks to the child, whānau members or professionals that require a safety plan.

The Lead Professional will bring back to the Panel the child’s assessment and plan at different stages for approval. Where gaps in services are identified at this point, the Lead Professional raises these with the Children’s Team Panel to assist in developing solutions.

If the Panel considers that the assessment and Child’s Plan requires further significant work, they advise the Lead Professional on remedial action.

Their oversight of progress of a child continues until the Panel approves the decision to exit a child and their family and whānau from the Children’s Team.

Guidance for Panel members

The Children’s Action Plan has produced a guide for Panel members that sets out things the Panel can look for as they undertake their role: