Referring to the Vulnerable Children's Hub

There is no wrong door.

This page sets out how to refer concerns to the Vulnerable Children's Hub (The Hub); a contact point for frontline professionals and practitioners in Hamilton city, Christchurch city, and Counties Manukau. If this does not apply to you, check out How to Refer for more options.

To refer to The Hub, you can:

Phone: 0800 FOR OURKIDS (0800 367 687)

  • The Hub phone line is available Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm.
  • When you call, the practitioner will ask you the same questions as listed in the referral form.

Online: Make an online referral

Post: Send the referral form by mail or courier

  • Download and complete the referral form below:

Vulnerable Children's Hub referral form [DOC, 371 KB (external link)

  • Then mail or courier the form to:

Vulnerable Children’s Hub
PO Box 78013
Grey Lynn
Auckland 1245

  • When sending the referral, clearly label it as ‘Private and confidential’.
  • For more guidance on how to complete the referral form, check out our Guidance for referrers.


Steps to making a referral

Follow these steps when making a referral to The Hub:

Step 1: Discuss the referral with the child and family

This can be a difficult conversation - watch the video examples of how to have these conversations.

When talking to the family/whānau, outline your concerns and tell them why it is impacting on their child’s health and development. Tell them why you think The Hub could help.

One of the options The Hub might decide is best is a referral to a Children’s Team. You can also refer them to our website which tells families/whānau what they need to know about working with a Children’s Team.

Although you do not need to have the consent of the family/whānau to make a referral to The Hub, it is best practice to have a conversation with the family first. This is because families are more likely to engage with a service if they have been made aware of the referral. The law, however, recognises that information can be shared without consent.


Step 2: Review the referral form to understand what information is required

To collect the required information:

  • review your service records for the child
  • discuss with other professionals and practitioners involved with the child, your concerns, and ask them to provide information from their records that will inform your referral.


Step 3: Complete the Children’s Team referral form

  • If you have any questions, call the Vulnerable Children’s Hub on 0800 FOR OURKIDS (0800 367 687).
  • For additional guidance in completing the referral form, refer to Guidance for referrers, below.


Step 4: Post, courier or submit the completed referral form to the Vulnerable Children’s Hub

  • If you are making a referral online, you will submit it electronically. We recommend that you save a copy in a separate document for your own records, as you will not be emailed a copy of the referral upon completion.
  • If you are sending a referral by mail or courier, clearly label it as ‘Private and confidential’ and post it to:

Vulnerable Children’s Hub
PO Box 78013
Grey Lynn
Auckland 1245

If you have any questions about making a referral, contact the Vulnerable Children’s Hub on 0800 FOROURKIDS or 0800 367 687.


Guidance for referrers

Before you begin

It is important that The Hub is given the best information available to make sure they are able to complete a thorough initial assessment and identify the right pathway to meet the needs of the child and family.

From our experience, valuable information is gathered when professionals talk to each other. That way we get a good picture of what is happening in the child’s life.  

We recommend that you save a copy of your referral information in a separate document for your own records, as you will not be emailed a copy of the referral upon completion.

Before you make a referral, consider:

The child/ren

How the concerns and needs are impacting on the vulnerable child/ren

The behaviour of the parents/caregivers

Think about the adult behaviour of the parent/caregiver you are seeing and what impact this is having on the child. The behaviour may be detrimental or it may be a positive interaction.

The home environment

Who else lives in the home, who are the child(ren)s caregivers; what other adults are significant in the child’s life

What has been tried before

What agencies have been involved or are currently involved (i.e. who is involved, how are they involved, and have you spoken to the other people/professionals who may be involved).

Are the family aware of the referral to the Vulnerable Children’s Hub?

Even though consent is not required, it is best practice and achieves better outcomes for the family when the family is aware that the referral is going to be made to The Hub. You will be asked about the family’s response to being referred.


What information do I need to provide?

You will need the following information when making a referral:

  • Details about the child, such as their name, date of birth, ethnicity and gender
  • Contact details (address, phone and email) – for the child/ren, and their siblings and parent/caregiver’s
  • Presenting concern/s – the current situation/reason that has led to you referring this child/ren
  • History of services, care and support provided to address the presenting concerns - your analysis of needs, actions implemented to meet those needs  and progress and outcomes achieved to date for this child/ren
  • Child’s family composition and household living arrangements – members of the family and those people living in the child/ren household and their relationship to the child/ren
  • If you have received agreement for you to share child and family’s personal information with The Hub
  • If you have received  agreement from the child and family to participate in a Children’s Team Referral – should this referral pathway be identified as most appropriate
  • Identify any risks to professional safety when making a home visit


Please supply your own contact details so The Hub can contact you for more information.

When making online referrals

Make sure that you have some time set aside to complete the referral in one sitting - you cannot save the referral part way through. We recommend that you save a copy in a separate document for your own records, as you will not be emailed a copy of the referral upon completion.

Once the referral has been sent

Remember to note down the Referral ID and use this number when making enquires to The Hub related to the referral.

The Hub may call you if they need to clarify any information about the referral. They will also contact you to let you know the outcome of the referral.