Changes to the NSW adoption system have been applauded by a Tamworth foster care provider, who says more incentives will be provided to ensure children live in happy homes.
On Thursday, the state government announced reforms to the adoption system that will see adoptive parents be paid similar to foster carers.
Parents adopting children under the age of four would receive an allowance of $488 a fortnight, up to $738 for teenagers, and more for high-needs children in a $24-million investment.
The NSW government says prospective adoptive parents would be means-tested via a rigorous process, with the move set to benefit more than 18,000 kids in out-of-home care across the state.
Regional foster care provider, Challenge Community Services, has applauded the landmark move. The organisation has about 95 children in out-of-home care across the New England region in almost 70 carer homes, but Challenge urgently needs more foster carers for primary school and high school-aged children.
“We have a number of people that currently foster children that they would happily move towards adoption with,” Mr Doley said.
“However, the hindrance was that the financial capability to do that wasn’t there.
“Previously under the old arrangements, the financial help that they would get in foster care was taken away once they moved towards adoption.
“Given the government’s announcement, I do think that there’d be a number of children and carers (in the area) that would benefit form adoption.”
Mr Doley said while the incentive-based adoption changes were still new and the financial details had not been assessed, he believed Challenge could assist those looking to become foster carers or adoptive parents in the area.
“Currently we process adoptions right across NSW,” he said. “The time frame for those is increasingly lengthy and quite time consuming, but from the recent announcement it looks like the process would be a lot quicker and more targeted.”
Article from the Northern Daily Leader, 30 March 2017.