Adopt Change welcomes progress with state and territories commitment to improved permanency outcomes for children

Adopt Change welcomes progress with state and territories commitment to improved permanency outcomes for children

In Australia, approximately 46,000 children are living in out-of-home care, with over 30,000 living away from their birth families for two years or more

Immediate Release: Sydney, Australia, 25 August 2017: Community Services Ministers met in Darwin today where the states and territories agreed to Permanency Guiding Principles including an agreement to implement timeframes through legislation and/or policy and practice, ensuring timely decision making on the future of children in out of home care.

In a statement following the meeting, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Zed Seselja, said the agreement was a great step forward in ensuring faster decision making times and national accountability regarding the permanency outcomes of vulnerable children, including adoption.

Chief Executive of Adopt Change, Renee Carter said the organisation welcomed the commitment made today by the Community Services Ministers and looked forward to hearing of continued progress later this year during National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) as part of the Connections for Life – National Permanency Conference in Sydney, where the states and territories will join a session to discuss developments in this area.

“We are pleased to see there is progress being made to increase accountability and reform where permanency outcomes for vulnerable, at risk children are involved,” Ms Carter said.

“We are at a critical juncture for child welfare in Australia. There are too many children living in limbo, sometimes moving over 10 or 20 times from home to home, during their time in out of home care. The negative repercussions for children now and in later life include higher rates of homelessness, interactions with the justice system, and lower rates of education and health. 

We need to ensure that the important conversations about permanency for children are front and centre to improve their situation and look forward to continuing the conversation during NAW and the National Permanency Conference.” 

For further information and interviews please contact 
Samantha Dybac p: 0411 251 373Connections for Life – National Permanency Conference 
The conference will take place November 16-17th 2017 at Rydges Central Sydney, New South Wales. Sponsorship packages are still available and early bird tickets are now on sale via the website with more information on the program available soon.

National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) was founded by Deborra-lee Furness in 2008 and runs each November. In 2017 it will run from Sunday 12 November – Saturday 18 November 2017. For further information visit

Hashtags: #adoptchange #adoption #NAAW2016 

About Adopt Change and National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) 
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. NAAW was founded by Deborra-lee Funess in 2008 and is the second week of November each year.

About Renee Carter 
Renee Carter is the CEO of Adopt Change and member of the Institute Advisory Group for the Independent Research Centre 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. 

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.

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2017 Child Protection Australia 2015-16, AIHW, Canberra