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On 9 December 2021, an amendment was made to the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, requiring that an Inquiry into Foster and Kinship care be conducted by an independent person. Dr Fiona Arney was appointed to lead the Independent Inquiry into Foster and Kinship Care on 23 December 2021.

Submissions were received from kinship carers, foster carers for children in emergency, short-term, long-term and respite placements, specific child only carers, long term guardians, Aboriginal carers and non-Aboriginal carers, carers from metropolitan and regional areas, carers who had been caring for many years and newly approved carers. Experiences of carers who made submissions were very consistent, and where there have been specific issues for particular carer groups, this is noted in the report.

The scope of this inquiry was determined under section 169A of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, and included, but wasn't limited to:

  • Existing complaint mechanisms as they relate to foster care and kinship care.
  • Existing consultation processes with foster and kinship carers.
  • Information sharing and the sharing of documentation with foster and kinship carers.
  • Ensuring that there is sound partnership with foster and kinship carers and that the rights of children in foster and kinship care are respected, addressed and realised.
  • Recommendations to improve foster and kinship care in South Australia.
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