Adopt Change calls on community to unlock more family homes for kids across Australia

National not-for-profit organisation Adopt Change is calling on all Australians to step up and help unlock more family homes for the 4,500 children and young people who are currently living in motels and residential group settings. 

With the foster care system reaching a crisis point with children as young as two-years-old living in motel rooms with workers on shift, and kids as young as four-years-old in group homes with much older youth, national charity Adopt Change is urging the community to help ‘unlock’ more family homes for the 4,500 children currently living in these situations. 

For the balance of the over 45,000 children in government care, too many are on a trajectory to homelessness, interactions with juvenile justice, and not completing their education.  

Calling for action during November and December, Adopt Change is asking the community to get behind this campaign by registering their interest to open their home for a child, or by purchasing a ‘key’ to support their work towards A Home and Healing for Every Child.  They are also calling on government to ensure that home-based-care is made available for all children.  

Adopt Change Founder and global humanitarian Deborra-lee Furness says, 

All children are precious and need a safe, loving, permanent home environment to thrive.  We have been shining a light on this issue for over a decade, and while we are making progress in some areas, the numbers and circumstances that we are seeing today are still deeply alarming. Infants living in pop-up orphanages and motels with shift workers who are not trained in trauma-informed care is unacceptable. This issue needs to be a high priority on the agenda of our chosen leaders. Energy, enthusiasm, education and creativity is what we need to find a solution. The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. 

With carer homes in short supply and carers and families under crushing economic pressures, the number of children entering care and not being raised in a family home is rising, with the commitment to providing therapeutic care and permanency for healing few and far between. November traditionally includes a focus on adoption awareness, and this year Adopt Change is highlighting the missed opportunity to open more homes for children.  

Renee Carter, CEO of Adopt Change, explains, “When children enter the care system, the idea is that they are then placed in home-based care either short term until they can return to their family, or long term to be provided with safety, stability and healing. Too often this is not being delivered for these children and their trauma is compounded. There are potential homes across Australia that could be opened if adoption was a more realistic option. However, adoption is not often considered by weighing up best interests of a child. While it is not a suitable option for all children, the low numbers in Australia reflect a landscape where it is not considered.This is why we are campaigning for A Home and Healing for Every Child, including a focus on permanent homes and therapeutic care. We encourage all Australians to help raise awareness about this crisis and show support to children in any way they can, whether it be opening their home or supporting our work.” 

Community support during this campaign will contribute to the work of Adopt Change towards: 

  • Finding more families who are able to open their home to a child or young person; 
  • Raising awareness of the critical issues faced by the nearly 46,000 children in care to bring about positive change; 
  • Supporting carers and families who open their home to a child; 
  • Providing MyPacks, first night comfort packs for children entering care. 

All kids need a home, and Ms Carter adds, “Throughout this campaign we are calling for the continuum of care to always be considered in a timely manner – putting in place earnest and evidence-based efforts in keeping or restoring children to their parent(s), and when this is not possible, considering the best home-based permanent option for children so they grow up with certainty and stability,”  

Visit to find out how to get your key and help unlock more opportunities for children and young people. 

You can view the campaign video here.  


Available for interview: 
Adopt Change CEO Renée Carter  

For all media enquiries and interviews, please contact:   
Priya Prakash  
(02) 9189 2020  

About Adopt Change  

Adopt Change is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and educate families and communities in caring for displaced children (including those in foster care or orphaned) to achieve our vision of a world where all children grow, learn, play and thrive in a safe, nurturing and stable environment. We provide support resources, training, education and programs to work towards achieving this goal.   
Adopt Change operates the government-funded program My Forever Family NSW to recruit, train, support and advocate for foster carers, kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents for children in out of home care in NSW.   
National Adoption & Permanency Awareness Month is held during November and is coordinated by Adopt Change to promote improvement to permanency legislation, policy and practice to facilitate a community where a child’s right to stability is prioritised. National Adoption Awareness Week was founded by Deborra-lee Furness in 2008.   



About Renée Carter  

Renée Carter is the CEO of Adopt Change and a passionate advocate for the wellbeing of children and young people. She leads a team of Adopt Change Changemakers nationally, with major activities including the #THRIVE National Permanency Conference; My Forever Family NSW; Yesvember A Home for Every Child campaign; MyPacks first night back packs; Empower Change; along with engagement with community, government, media and the sector.    

Renée is a member of the Institute Advisory Group for the independent research centre Institute of Open Adoption Studies (The University of Sydney) and was previously Vice Chair of NSW Committee on Adoption and Permanent Care (COAPC).   

Renée is a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors, with a background in communications and executive management, along with board level experience in corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Her experience includes three years as Chair of charity Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS), an organisation focused on early intervention, education and support of families and communities; and Managing Director of creative corporate and investor communications specialists Designate Group.   

Renée is committed to influencing child welfare policy and practice to deliver timely and effective outcomes for children so they can have better childhood experiences and a brighter future.