Dialog Box

Planning for permanency
Our deepest hope is reflected in our program’s name: My forever Family. We truly believe it is every child’s right to have a safe and loving home for life, whether that be with parents, extended family or kin, or through open adoption or guardianship.

Our program supports restoration and short term carers as part of a wider program in NSW to ensure that as many children as possible are restored to their birth families. When a child can’t return safely to their birth family, we work with long term carers, guardians and adoptive parents so that children have the best possible chance of stability and nurture.

Permanent placement principles

In the interest of child wellbeing, the NSW government has developed permanent placement principles to guide placing a child or young person into a safe and permanent home after being removed from their family.

The first step is to work intensively with the birth family to address the issues that led to their child’s removal, with the aim of restoring a child to their birth family.

The primary goal of permanency planning is to return the child or young person to the care of their parents or legal guardian as soon as it is safe to do so. This is called ‘restoration’ and involves a high level of engagement from the birth family or legal guardian.

The Children’s Court must decide within a defined time-frame if restoration is possible.  If it is not possible, then one of the following alternative permanency pathways will be considered, according to the child’s situation and needs:

  • Guardianship with a relative or family member, or to another suitable person
  • Carer adoption (usually for non-Aboriginal children)
  • Parental responsibility to the Minister (long-term foster care)

Children and young people in care who experience stability and permanency are more likely to develop healthy and long-lasting emotional attachments, a strong sense of identity and connection, and achieve better life outcomes.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Permanency is equally as important for the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

For Aboriginal children and young people, the aim is always to place the child with family or kin, keeping them connected within their community. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle ensures that when children are not able to live at home, they remain connected to their family and culture.

Read more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle and how My Forever Family supports both Aboriginal  and non-Aboriginal carers.