Welcome Changes to Child Safety Act in Queensland Introducing Adoption for At-Risk Children

Adopt Change welcome the introduction of Open Adoption as an option in the continuum of care for at-risk children by the Queensland government. The organisation also welcomes the plan to have the Director General review case plans for any child in state care, after two years, to assess the best options for long-term permanency.

Australia, 15 July 2020: Changes announced last night by the Queensland Government are a clear step towards providing permanency for the thousands of children currently in the out-of-home care system in Queensland.

In recent years, Adopt Change has worked closely with both State and Federal Governments across the country to work towards the implementation of a standardised hierarchy of care and for Governments to provide a pathway to permanency for children. The announced proposed legislation changes in Queensland late yesterday are aligned with Adopt Change’s position and are a step forward in providing improved outcomes for children in care in Queensland.

Renee Carter, CEO of Adopt Change, discussed the importance and potential impact of this change, “We are excited about the direction taken by the Premier and encouraged the government is looking to make swift changes to legislation that will put Open Adoption on the table as a care option. This move will strengthen the continuum of care available in Queensland and add a vital pathway for atrisk children.”

“Providing permanent and safe family homes for children is critical. We’re looking forward to the implementation of these changes as they will provide greater direction, a two-year timeline for at-risk children and more options for cases in Queensland.”

The organisation acknowledges the complexity of issues children face when they come into care and finding the right pathways can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. “Creating a community of carers, through a continuum of care, will have the ability to cater to variety of circumstances. We need to provide emergency care, foster carer, kinship care, permanent care orders and open adoption to address the complex cases currently in the system. We also need to support these families and provide training to ensuring children have what they need to be able to have a more positive childhood and future.” Said Ms Carter.

Adopt Change also welcomes the commitment from the Government to employ 500 additional frontline workers by year end to help with caseloads. The organisation believes that evaluating and providing children the immediate help they need is crucial and requires an urgent focus.

Ms Carter stated, “We cannot allow children to slip between the cracks. We need to ensure that the system in Queensland does not fail and to do this we need a holistic system that supports families; works quickly to make good decisions in a child’s best interests of their safety and their future; more case managers to ensure they can do their difficult work well and bring the community together to support children to thrive.”

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For all media enquiries and interviews with Adopt Change CEO Renée Carter, please contact: 

Jonathan Sweet 
0400 679 329 

Website: www.adoptchange.org.au 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/adoptchangeau/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/adoptchangeau 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AdoptChangeAU 

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 recognises the impacts of impermanency and trauma and we support families through workshops and online resources; research; pre- and post-permanency 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. 

We work to raise community awareness of the importance of meeting these rights for children; 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 family of origin where possible. When that is not possible or safe, we advocate for other timely and permanent options, including adoption. 

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 Australian not-for-profit Adopt Change, which also operates the program My Forever Family NSW. She is also a member of the Institute Advisory Group for the Independent Research Centre Institute of Open Adoption Studies (The University of Sydney). 

Renée 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. 

Renée is passionate about influencing policy and practice to deliver timely and effective outcomes for children, by garnering community, sector and government support.