Adoption and Permanent Care

Demand for the Adoption and Permanent Care program remained high during 2014– 15, with over 60 enquiries to the program during this period and 49 people attending permanent care education sessions, which were held over two periods in July and August 2014 and May and June 2015.

The Adoption and Permanent Care (A&PC) program aims to match children in need with a long term family option that will allow them to grow up with stability, nurturing and safety. This is a state wide service with 10 teams across the state to provide each region with services and support; this is also a free service.

We aim to maintain children’s connection with their biological family and encourage children to have an understanding of their story whilst being provided with the security, love and consistency of a long term family option. Caregivers are supported by the program to meet the child’s individual needs and to understand different ways to walk with the child they are caring for and provide them with opportunities to reach their full potential.

The Adoption program provides counselling and support options that allow biological parents to make a choice regarding the future care of their child, including the option of relinquishment. The A&PC program also provides support, assessment and resources to people considering relative adoption (otherwise known as step-parent or spousal adoption).

Permanent Care involves children who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect and are currently under the care of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Child Protection and who cannot reside in the care of biological family. These children reside in Out of Home Care options such as Foster Care and Kinship care until a permanent family can be identified.

Both Adoption and Permanent Care processes involve intensive assessment, support and training of potential caregivers and thorough assessments and support of children in need.

The program has a high rate of positive outcomes for children and young people that have been able to develop strong and ongoing relationships inside non-biological families.

More information:

Interested in becoming a carer through the Adoption and Permanent Care program? Contact any of the A&PC team on adoppermcare@cafs.org.au  or the CAFS phone number for more information.

The next information sessions is:

  • 6 September 2016

The next training sessions are:

  • May 27 2016
  • June 3 2016
  • June 10 2016

Please note: attendance at training is required on all three days.

If you would like support or assistance from the Adoption and Permanent Care program please call us on 5337 3333. All contact is confidential and we can provide information and advice regarding options available to you if you, or someone you know, is pregnant and considering available options.

Feedback from permanent care education groups included:

“The passion you all have for your work is fully evident.”

“I had a tremendous learning experience the last three Fridays.”

“Message was well communicated, great training, loved it, great team.“

“It has been very helpful in supporting us to make the decision to go ahead and apply for permanent care.”

“Presenters were warm, honest and genuine.“

“We would love to be able to be assessed by CAFS.”

CASE STUDY

When carers agree to take on a foster care placement, they never know how long the placement will be for and what the outcomes may be.

In some extraordinary cases, foster carers can apply to have the child stay with them on a permanent basis.

In 2014, a placement was made of an Indigenous newborn baby and her young mother to one of our carers with the plan being for the carer to mentor the mother and educate her on the needs of the baby, while also providing 24-hour support.

Over the past three years, the foster carers have supported the child to maintain a positive relationship with her parents, and they have attended monthly care team meetings to provide informative and up-to-date information on the progressive development of the child.

When the decision was made that the child would not be returning to her parents’ care, the foster carers agreed to be assessed for their suitability to care for the child permanently. The assessment was conducted by the foster care worker, who deemed them to be suitable and, consequently, they became the permanent carers of the child.

Although it was a very difficult decision for the birth parents to agree to, through the warmth and support the carers provided to the child’s parents and their willingness to ensure the parents had regular, ongoing contact with their child, the parents agreed to place the child onto a permanent care order in August 2015.