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Permanency Support Program
Permanency and early intervention principles built into casework
On 29 March, the Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward announced major changes to the child protection system.
They talked about the long term whole-of-government vision captured in Their Futures Matter: A new approach, and more immediate changes designed to give more children a permanent home where they can thrive.
The changes being introduced from 1 October 2017 are brought together under the Permanency Support Program.
Despite the best intentions, the current system is failing to change the trajectory of vulnerable children and their families.
Our service system is growing. There are 8,036 more children and young people in care compared to 2006. Children and young people stay in care for longer, with an average length of 12.5 years. Many are far from enjoying stability, with 35 per cent of children having to move placements three times or more in 2016.
On 30 June 2016, Aboriginal children and young people made up 5.4 per cent of all children and young people (aged 0-17) in NSW, yet represented 37 per cent of all children and young people in out-of-home care. This trend is continuing upwards.
Reform of out-of-home care is a priority of the NSW Government.
Children and young people in care deserve the same opportunities as their peers to reach their full potential.
To help realise this, the Permanency Support Program prioritises three outcomes for children and young people in, or at risk of entering, out-of-home care – safety, permanency and wellbeing.
It brings together a series of changes we’ll be making to give every child and young person the chance to have a loving, permanent home for life, whether that be with his or her parents, extended family or kin, or through open adoption or guardianship.
It shifts us from a placement-based service system to a child-and family-centred service system that focuses on individual needs and helping families to change.
Above all, the Permanency Support Program is based on the following principles:
- Every child should feel safe.
- Every child should feel they belong – to their family and community.
- Every child should have stability, certainty and opportunity in their life.
- Every child should have the best possible start to life.