Vulnerable children in out-of-home care will be provided permanent and loving homes sooner and with more support, as part of a plan to turbocharge the open adoption and guardianship process.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the 2021-22 NSW Budget would include $12 million to scale up initiatives aimed at increasing the number of adoptions and guardianships, including through the establishment of a Permanency Taskforce.
“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.”
NSW is leading the nation in providing permanency for children in out-of-home care, accounting for almost 99 per cent of all open adoptions from care in Australia in 2019-20. NSW is also providing permanency through guardianship, with 3,267 children currently on guardianship orders.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens said the dedicated Permanency Taskforce will change lives for the better, cementing NSW as the leading light when it comes to providing permanency for kids in care.
“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.”
The investment aligns with the Premier’s Priority of increasing permanency for children in out-of-home care.