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The latest guidance and information for all social services

This page provides up to date information and answers to common questions from our social service partners. Please check this page regularly in addition to the Government’s COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 support for social sector services and communities

In response to COVID-19, the Government is making sure essential social services continue to support communities during COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

Working and practicing safely

We are supporting essential social services with access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and guidance on using it safely.

Information on COVID-19 Alert Level 3

The Government has announced that New Zealand will be at COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm on Monday 27 April 2020 (ie it will come into effect on Tuesday 28 April). We will hold at Alert Level 3 for two weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.

Information on COVID-19 Alert Level 2

The Government has provided information on what will be required of people and organisations at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. The decision on when the country will move to Alert Level 2 is expected to be announced on 11 May 2020.

Guidance for the Family Violence and Sexual Violence Crisis Workforce

Guidance for the family violence and sexual violence crisis workforce supporting victims/survivors during COVID-19 Alert Level 3. The guidance covers how providers should operate during Alert Level 3 while meeting health and safety expectations that will keep staff and victims/survivors safe. Further guidance on operating in Alert Level 2 will be available shortly.

Foodbanks, Food Rescue and Community Food Services

Foodbanks, Food Rescue and Community Food Services are considered essential social services. Foodbanks, food rescue and other community food services must operate a one-person-in, one-person-out rule.

In-home childcare for essential workers

Funded in-home childcare is available for COVID-19 essential workers. This means child carers (from authorised Ministry of Social Development childcare providers) can come into the homes of essential workers to provide childcare services. To make sure your family bubble is protected, these carers won’t be delivering services to any other family, just yours.

Please let essential workers in your organisation know that this support is available. More information, including a list of essential childcare providers for children aged 5-14 is on the Work and Income website.

A useful information sheet on where to go for services and support is available on the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) website.

Ongoing support for those you work with

If someone you work with is experiencing hardship the Government is putting in place different types of support that can help. You can find out about the support that is available on the COVID-19 website.

An information sheet is also available that explains what help people may be able to receive through MSD.

Wage subsidy and essential workers leave support

Financial support may be available for you or someone you work with through the COVID-19 wage subsidy and essential workers leave support payments. More information about this for both employees and employers can be found on the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) website. You can also search for employers who have received payments under the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Health information

It is essential that everyone is following the Ministry of Health’s advice in response to COVID-19. Their website provides comprehensive and up to date information on how individuals and organisations can appropriately prepare and respond to developments in a nationally consistent way.

For COVID-19 health advice and information you can also contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453.

Funding and support for provider organisations

It is important that we continue to work together to provide services and support to tamariki and whānau as best we can during this time. Government agencies that fund the provision of social services have been meeting to align how they will support and work with their provider partners. As a result, MSD, Oranga Tamariki, ACC, the Ministry of Justice, Corrections, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have developed an agreed approach to working with their contracted providers during this time.

Please contact your contract or relationship manager to discuss any issues you are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

The Government has put in place a number of programmes of support for employers and employees in response to COVID-19. This includes a Wage Subsidy scheme, which all New Zealand employers who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for, including registered charities, non-government organisations (NGOs), the self-employed and sole traders, contractors, incorporated societies, and post-settlement governance entities.

Keeping you updated

If you have any specific questions, please contact your contract or relationship manager in the first instance. You can also email us at community_information@msd.govt.nz. We will try to get back to you as soon as we are able.

The Government’s COVID-19 website is constantly being updated with information on New Zealand’s response to the pandemic and is the first place to go for information you may need.

This website provides information on the COVID-19 Alert Levels and what we need to do in response. Please note that alert levels will change over time and may be different in different parts of the country.

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