The New South Wales government has today released figures that show the number of adoptions from out of home care in NSW has risen to 127. This number is the highest on record and also a significant increase on last year’s number of 68. The increase has been attributed to the reform and transformation taking place through the adoptions system redesign and the work of the New South Wales adoptions taskforce, created by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) in June 2016.
Renee Carter, CEO Adopt Change, said the organisation welcomes the news of the increase in adoptions from out of home care, particularly at a time when the number of Australian children across the country in out of home care continues to rise* and the number of children adopted nationally is at its lowest level on record**.
“Last year there were more than 30,000 Australian children living separately from their birth families for two or more years and yet only 196 Australian children were adopted, 5% less than the previous year and the lowest number on record” Renee Carter, Adopt Change CEO, said. “The latest figures on adoption in NSW are encouraging and indicate a commitment from the state government to implementing urgent reform to ensure that permanency and adoption are a priority for vulnerable, at risk children.”
“For some of these children, adoption is the best option that unfortunately faces too many barriers. The NSW figures released today are a positive step in the right direction and we will continue advocating for the other states and territories to also work towards making permanency and adoption a priority for vulnerable, at risk children, as per their agreement at the meeting of the Community Services Ministers in November 2016”, Ms Carter said.
Adopt Change has been involved in meeting with the NSW Adoptions Taskforce , assisting with scoping the change projects to help provide clearer, more accessible information for all involved or those interested in adoption.
Ms Carter added that Adopt Change will continue working with the federal and state governments, the sector, and the community to encourage ethical adoption reform to ensure that vulnerable children have the opportunity to flourish in a loving and permanent family environment.
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Renee Carter, CEO Adopt Change
About Adopt Change and National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW)Adopt Change and National Adoption Awareness Week were founded by Deborra-lee Furness.
Adopt Change believes that every child has a right to grow up in a permanent, loving family, and embraces adoption as a positive and important way of forming that family.
Adopt Change’s mission is to raise community awareness, encourage ethical reform, and empower all Australians to engage with issues affecting adoption.
Adopt Change is committed to working with community and governments to transform attitudes and laws affecting adoption in Australia.
Adopt Change advocates for open adoption as the first permanent option considered for children who cannot live with their family or kin and will otherwise spend their childhood in Out of Home Care.
National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) is coordinated by Adopt Change to promote reform of Australian adoption laws and practices to facilitate a pro-adoption community.
In 2017 NAAW will run from Sunday 12 – Saturday 18 November 2017
About Renee Carter
Renee Carter is the CEO of Adopt Change and member of the Advisory Group for the NSW Institute of Open Adoption Studies (The University of Sydney).
Renee has a strong background in communications and executive management, along with board level experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). 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.
Renee is passionate about influencing policy and practice to deliver timely and effective outcomes for children, by garnering community, sector and government support.
* Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2017 Child Protection Australia 2015-16, AIHW, Canberra http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129558626
** There were 196 Australian child adoptions in total in 2015-16, comprised of 45 local adoptions and 151 known child adoptions, including 24 children 18 yrs of age or over, and 70 by a known-carer. 68 of these known-carer adoptions were from NSW. (AIHW) Source: AIHW 2016 Adoptions Australia 2015-16, AIHW, Canberra.http://www.aihw.gov.au/adoptions/