The New South Wales government is establishing a taskforce that will speed up the open adoption and guardianship process for vulnerable kids.
The Permanency Taskforce is part of a range of initiatives that will receive $12 million in funding through the 2021-22 state budget, which will be delivered next week.
Announcing the investment on Tuesday, treasurer Dominic Perrottet and families minister Alister Henskens said NSW was ‘leading the nation’ in providing permanency for children in out-of-home care.
The state accounted for almost 99% of all open adoptions from care in Australia in 2019-20, and currently has 3,267 children on guardianship orders, they noted.
“The taskforce aims to fast-track the number of matters progressing through the open adoption and guardianship pipeline and in doing so, boosting the number of children exiting out-of-home care into permanent homes,” Henskens said.
“The NSW government will also enhance support for prospective adoptive parents and guardians by establishing a new information hotline, providing free online courses, face-to-face training and counselling services.”
Increasing permanency for children in out-of-home care is one of the Premier’s Priorities. The state government has set a target of doubling the number of kids in safe and permanent homes by 2023, for children in or at risk of entering out-of-home care.
NSW established a similar taskforce in 2018, charged with promoting guardianship for kids in out-of-home care. Guardianship allows children to enter a stable home without severing legal ties to their family.