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Helping foster kids find a family for life

16 November 2105

DianeatlaunchNew reforms to cut red tape and help children and young people in out of home care find a forever family were launched today by NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard.

The NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care - developed by the Office of the Children’s Guardian - sets out the principles, policies and practices that need to be followed by agencies providing out of home care and adoption services.

“Every child deserves a safe and stable home where they can develop strong and consistent relationships and a sense of belonging,” Mr Hazzard said.

“With nearly 20,000 children and young people living in out of home care in NSW it is clear that we need a more flexible system with less red tape and that is what these reforms deliver.”

NSW Children’s Guardian Kerryn Boland said, “The new standards will help encourage child safe organisations for the most vulnerable children in NSW.”

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An important part of the reform is merging the accreditation processes for agencies wanting to provide both out of home care and adoption services – currently providers need to go through two separate processes.

The NSW Government encourages agencies to consider all options for providing permanent care for children, including parental restoration, open adoption (where contact is maintained with the birth family), guardianship and statutory out of home care.

“We want to break the cycle of instability – we don’t want children spending their childhoods and adolescences in out-of-home care, we want them, wherever possible, to have a permanent family for life,” Mr Hazzard said.

Speaking at the launch, adoptee Diane said, “Open adoption is not for every child in care but for those that it is, I hope they too can experience the happiness that I have.”

Caption: Minister Hazzard with adoptee Diane and NSW Children’s Guardian Kerryn Boland at the launch of the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care in Sydney today.