NSW continues to lead the nation in providing safe and permanent homes for vulnerable children with a record-breaking 162 adoptions from out-of-home care in 2019-20.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said a strong focus on finding permanent homes for children in out-of-home care had contributed to the significant increase in adoptions.
“Every child deserves the security of a safe and loving home where they can grow, thrive and reach their full potential,” Mr Ward said.
“Our first priority is to support vulnerable families to stay safely together through early intervention and preservation strategies but, sadly, this isn’t always possible.
“When it’s not safe for children to live with their birth parents, we’re committed to providing permanency through open adoption or guardianship, and these new figures are testament to the hard work being done to achieve that.”
NSW Government reforms to streamline the open adoption process have led to a surge in permanent homes for children, up from 67 adoptions in 2015-16, to 162 in 2019-20. Over the past five years, more than 600 adoptions have taken place in NSW.
Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that NSW is eclipsing every state and territory in adoptions by carers. In 2018-19, 96 per cent of carer adoptions took place in NSW.
“We are also working hard to reduce the number of children and young people entering out-of-home care across the state,” Mr Ward said.
“The work our Government is doing – from preservation and restoration through to adoption and guardianship – is having a profound impact on the lives of children, young people and families.”
The work is in line with the Premier’s Priority to double the number of children in safe and permanent homes by 2023 for children in, or at risk of entering, out of home care.