A family for life

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We all want every child and young person to have a stable, safe and permanent home for life where they can thrive. But did you know that in NSW there are 18,000 children in need of out of home care? And the number is growing.

To provide more help to children in crisis, the NSW Government is tackling the issue head-on with an investment of $1 billion through ambitious reforms known as the Permanency Support Program. These reforms not only offer the hope of providing a safe and stable home to a larger number of children and young people, they create more openings for people who want to give a child or young person a home for life.

NSW Government reform is focused on providing greater stability for a brighter future for our most vulnerable children

Introduced on 1 October 2017, the reforms are based on extensive research. This research shows that when children and young people have a sense of permanent belonging, when they have certainty about who they live with long-term, they have a better chance of a bright future.

The aim of reform is to reduce the number of children entering into the care system and to find permanent homes for those children who are unable to return to their family of origin. A critical element in the reforms is setting a goal in the child or young person’s case plan for a permanent home within two years.

Providing a safe and stable home

Permanent care can mean different things. It can mean the child or young person remains with their birth parents or kin (known as ‘preservation’). Alternatively, the child or young person may be placed with a permanent guardian or be adopted, with all legal rights transferred to the adoptive parent (known as open adoption).

Under the reforms, keeping children with their birth family, or their kin, is still the preferred permanent care option, provided it is safe to do so. What has changed under the new reforms is the level of support provided to families in crisis. The reforms recognise that people can change, but that to do so, they must have the right support.

The reform allows greater flexibility and additional funding to special needs groups such as sibling groups and Indigenous children.

Additional funding is being allocated to keep siblings together and help Indigenous children. With the support of their case worker, children and young people themselves will have more say in their future care. There will also be specialist intensive therapeutic care programs to help young people recover from trauma and successfully make the transition from residential care to a permanent home. 

You can turn a child or young person’s life around

If you would like to foster or adopt a child or young person in need, you might be surprised at how possible it is. Challenge Community Services welcomes couples, including same sex couples, as well as single people to provide emergency, short-term, respite and permanent care. The first step is to contact us on 1800 084 954 or email fostercare@challengecommunity.org.au for an obligation free chat.

For more information about the Permanency Support Program go to:


Download our free ebook Fostering for Permanency: Giving Children and Young People a Safe home for Life or go to www.challengecommunity.org.au

 CTA Foster Permanency 12

Author: Challenge Community Services

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About Challenge Community Services

Over 60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 700 staff, 85 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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