Adopt Change welcomes NSW budget announcement of $59million to help vulnerable children and families throughout the state
Immediate Release, Sydney, Australia, Tuesday 19 June 2018 – The New South Wales (NSW) State Budget 2018-19 was delivered today and includes a commitment for Family and Community Services to spend $6.8billion supporting children, adults, families and communities.
With over 18,000 children in NSW in out of home care, providing these children with safety, nurture and stability is vital. Ensuring more children are able to remain home safely and not enter care in the first place is a priority. This work will build on the 2016/17 results that saw a reduction of children entering out of home care of almost 24 per cent.
The NSW government will provide an additional $59.1 million boost over four years ($10.2 million in 2018-19) to the child protection frontline which will ensure that:
- More caseworkers are available – with $42.1 million over four years including an additional 78 caseworkers, 10 casework support workers and 12 casework managers of the next two years, and $6.5 million for 52 FACS Permanency Coordinator to support caseworkers to achieve permanency goals;
- The work of the Adoptions Taskforce will continue – NSW leads the nation with its work in finalising record numbers of adoptions from out-of-home care, providing more children with permanency.
The government has also committed the following areas of investment for families across the state:
- $1.2 billion to support out-of-home care and permanency support, guardianship and adoption.
- $149.5 million for early intervention services.
- $63 million for Brighter Futures and Safe Care to deliver services to families for children at high risk of entering or escalating within the child protection system
- $41.3 million for the Children’s Guardian
- $39.2 million to keep more families together through implement evidence-based models as part of the Their Futures Matter child protection reforms, including through evidence based family preservation models to help at least 900 families a year
- $17 million over two years for the adoption transformation program to enable a higher number of adoptions from out of home care (with a goal of1,000 open adoptions in total across the next four years).
- $7 million over three years for My Forever Family NSW to recruit, train and support more foster carers, guardians and adoptive parents for children in out of home care
- $639 million for permanency support program providers to enable children and young people to fulfill their case plan goal for permanency within two years and tailor responses to suit their individual needs
- $1.9 million over 3 years to establish the intensive therapeutic care intermediary to improve delivery of the therapeutic care across the new intensive therapeutic care service system replacing residential care in NSW
Adopt Change CEO, Renée Carter, welcomed the focus on supporting struggling families, and investing in providing nurture, safety and stability for children in out of home care. As the lead agency on the My Forever Family NSW program, she said,
“The funding for My Forever Family NSW will provide the resources to recruit more carers for children who have entered the system, including restoration carers (for children until they can return home), through to guardians and adoptive parents (for those children who cannot return home safely and where this permanency pathway has been determined as being in their best interest).
“The program will allow us to support the many carers across NSW who have committed to being the primary caregivers for the children in their homes. To be able to care well for a child, who has typically experienced significant trauma, carers need to be well supported. In addition to recruitment, this program will provide tailored support including training, a carer line and advocacy, to work towards improvements for carers, and ultimately the children in their care.”
My Forever Family NSW will commence initial support services including a carer support line from Monday 2 July 2018, and will roll out a full suite of service over the following months.
For interviews please contact Samantha Dybac, The PR Hub
M: 0411 251 373
Available for interview:
Renee Carter, CEO, Adopt Change.
Case studies and B-roll footage available upon request
About Adopt Change and National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM)
Adopt Change believe 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 to raise community awareness of the importance of meeting these rights for children; encourage reform and empower Australians to work towards all children having 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.
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.
National Adoption Awareness in Australia is coordinated by Adopt Change to promote reform of adoption laws and practices to facilitate a community where a child’s right to permanency is prioritised. NAAW was founded by Deborra-lee Furness in 2008.
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.