Adopt Change believes that every child has the right to grow up in a safe, nurturing and permanent family home, and that all families need the appropriate supports for children to thrive.
Adopt Change works towards every child and young person having access to a safe, nurturing and stable family upbringing. We recognise the impact of childhood trauma, and provide a number of services and education so that children and families can be supported and thrive. We also work with government, sector and community to seek changes to legislation and policies to better provide for children and families.
We recognise the importance of permanency for positive life outcomes. We support capacity building of families to ensure that vulnerable children are able to remain within their birth family where possible. When that is not possible or safe, we advocate for other permanent options, including adoption where appropriate.
We understand the impacts of impermanency and trauma and we work to support families through workshops and online resources; research; pre- and post-adoptive supports; trauma informed supports; information and community events; as well as working with governments, departments and the sector to address issues surrounding permanency for children.
You can read more about what we do.
A home for every child that is safe, nurturing and stable so that children can grow, learn, play and thrive.
To support and educate families and communities in caring for displaced children.
The company’s purpose is to support children in need, particularly those in government care, foster care, orphans or children without families, and their carers, families and guardians, by without limitation:
- providing resources to support these at risk children including in times of crisis such as entering the foster care or out of home care system;
- providing support and resources to carers, families and guardians of these children with particular emphasis on understanding trauma and informed practices and parenting for these children;
- providing information to schools and the community on supporting these children and trauma support; and
- encouraging people to provide all children in need with access to a safe, nurturing and stable family environment to grow up in.
We are courageous in our pursuit of making our vision and mission a reality. We speak for children and families who need a voice.
We proactively adapt our organisation and services to be responsive to serving the needs of our community.
We bring others on the journey with us for greater collective impact by inspiring them with our vision and drive for change.
Everything we do is about bringing about positive change for children, young people and families for better outcomes.
Listening to our community, our stakeholders and our team, we are respectful of others’ cultures and views, and we work collaboratively.
In 2008, Adopt Change was founded by Deborra-lee Furness with a small group of volunteers, in response to the needs of children who had been orphaned or were living in temporary care, along with the challenges and distress experienced by children and families navigating the complex adoption processes in Australia. Children who had already experienced difficult starts in life, and often trauma, were faced with further challenges in not being able to access stability or the appropriate support services. The focus of the organisation in the early years was on National Adoption Awareness Week, advocacy and providing support.
The first National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM) was facilitated by Adopt Change and has been running each year since in November (the 10th was held in 2017). National Adoption Awareness Week has been recognised as a key event in the year, and highlights over the years have included involvement of guest speakers such as Dr Karyn Purvis, Dr Jane Aronson, Sir Martin Narey and Dr Sylvia Rowlands; events including a panel at the National Press Club; launches at Parliament House Canberra; along with the National Permanency Conference. Through NAAM, we have influenced positive steps forward including the Commonwealth Government of Australia’s commitment to adoption reform in December 2013 – for more ethical and supportive adoption processes in Australia; and in November 2016, the commitment of the Social Services Ministers to prioritising permanency for children in out of home care.
In 2014, the Adopt Change organisation evolved to expand to year-round campaigning. National Adoption Awareness Week continues as a major annual awareness-raising event. In 2018, Adoption Awareness progressed from one week to the month of November.
Since 2017 we have facilitated the annual National Permanency Conference to bring together state and federal governments, child welfare practitioners, academics, global thought leaders in trauma and impermanency, international and local speakers and lived experience advocates to collectively work towards better outcomes for children and young people with a trauma experience. In 2023 we will deliver the 7th conference in our work towards all children and young people being able to #THRIVE.
In 2018 Adopt Change were commissioned by NSW Government Family and Community Services to operate the new program – My Forever Family NSW. The program was established to recruit, support, train and advocate for foster carers, kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents for children from out of home care. The program outcomes are set to deliver better experiences for vulnerable children in NSW, who have typically experienced trauma through abuse and/or neglect in their childhood. The program will work closely with the sector and communities to supplement trauma informed training and provide more potential carers. Contributors to the program include Professor Paul Chandler and Continuum Consulting.
Also in 2018, Adopt Change launched our ‘Safe Spaces, Friendly Faces’ trauma training series for teachers and principals, to work towards more trauma informed education for children who have experienced early childhood adversity and typically find school a challenging environment.
Today, under the leadership of CEO, Renee Carter, Adopt Change works with Australian state and federal governments, the child welfare sector and the community in order to achieve the common goal of ensuring that every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, nurturing and stable family environment.
Adopt Change continues to grow and expand our scope to work towards our goal of all children having access to a safe, nurturing and stable family home to grow up in. We also understand that children many children who cannot live with their birth family (for a variety of reasons), have typically experienced trauma. For this reason, Adopt Change provides support to families (foster or adoptive) who care for these children, so that they can provide the best care possible to assist their children with healing.