Permanency planning and adoption of children in out-of-home care

Adoption Children Australia New South Wales
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In November 2012, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward MP, released a discussion paper containing child protection legislative reform proposals. The reform proposals are in three parts: (1) promoting good parenting; (2) providing a safe and stable home for children and young people in care; (3) and creating a child-centred system.

This briefing paper provides background and commentary on the second part of the proposals, which aim to improve permanency planning for children and young people in care.

As at 30 June 2012, there were 18,169 children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW (compared to 14,667 five years earlier). Around two-thirds were in statutory care (where the Minister or a non-related person has parental responsibility for residency because of an order of the Children’s Court), and one third were in supported care (care arranged, provided or supported by the Director-General of the Department). About 27 percent of children and young people in care were under the age of six. Over one third of the out-of-home care population were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. More than half of the same population were in relative or Aboriginal kinship care, while almost 40 percent were in foster care. More than one third of all children and young people in care had three or more placements in their current care period.

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