The NSW Government is establishing a special Permanency Taskforce to fast track the adoption process and provide permanent and loving homes to vulnerable children in out-of-home care. On average, it can take up to five years for such children to find a home. This is far too long, especially given that there are more than 16,000 vulnerable children in NSW needing a permanent home.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the 2021-22 Budget would include $12 million to boost initiatives aimed at increasing the number of adoptions and guardianships in the state.
“A permanent and loving home is the foundation for a happy and healthy life and this investment will help make open adoption or guardianship a reality for more kids,” Mr Perrottet said.
"The NSW Government has made providing permanency for vulnerable kids a priority, and this funding will enable a significant increase in promotion of open adoption and guardianship, raising awareness of the life-changing benefits of a permanent home.”
Leading the country in providing permanency for vulnerable children, NSW was responsible for almost 99 per cent of all open adoptions from care in Australia in 2019-20. The state is also providing permanency through guardianship, with 3,267 children currently on guardianship orders.
The new Permanency Taskforce will “cement NSW as the leading light” when it comes to providing permanency for kids in care and “change lives for the better” said Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens.
“The Taskforce aims to fast-track the number of matters progressing through the open adoption and guardianship pipeline and in doing so, boosting the number of children exiting out-of-home care into permanent homes,” Mr Henskens said.
“The NSW Government will also enhance support for prospective adoptive parents and guardians by establishing a new information hotline, providing free online courses, face-to-face training and counselling services.”
Permanent arrangements like adoption enhance stability, a sense of security, belonging and firm attachments, all of which are vitally important to children as they grow and develop. By contrast, there are long-term damaging consequences for children and society when children are left to flounder in non-permanent care arrangements, while waiting for the courts to resolve their future.
Adoption, appropriately managed, can provide better outcomes for all involved – birth parents, adoptees, adoptive parents and the broader community. We welcome this initiative by the NSW Government and hope other states will follow their lead in prioritising vulnerable children in out-of-home care.
Order a copy of our Adoption Rethink research report to learn more about this important issue.