Our objective is to see all children receive the care they deserve, and all carers receive the support and training they need. 

We care for those who care for children.

We’re a government-funded program, operated by Adopt Change, in collaboration with Professor Paul Chandler (University of Wollongong) and Continuum Consulting. 

Our program was established to: 

  • recruit carers of all kinds for children in out-of-home care, including foster carers (respite, emergency, restoration, short-term and long term), kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents
  • provide extra training for carers across the state on topics that will support them in the important role of caring for children
  • support carer support groups and mentor programs
  • provide support for carers via our phone support line and online
  • provide advocacy at a systemic level, as well as individual advocacy as required
  • work closely with the sector to support collaboration for better outcomes for children in care.

Adopt Change

Adopt Change is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and educate families and communities in caring for displaced children (including those in foster care or orphaned) to achieve our vision of a world where all children grow, learn, play and thrive in a safe, nurturing and stable environment. We provide support resources, training, education and programs to work towards achieving this goal. 

Adopt Change recognises the impacts of impermanency and trauma and we support families through workshops and online resources; research; pre- and post-permanency supports; trauma informed supports; information and community events; as well as working with governments, departments and the sector to address issues surrounding stability for children. 

Operating the My Forever Family NSW program has enabled Adopt Change to support more families and children in achieving stability and better life outcomes through trauma-informed care.

Professor Paul Chandler 

Professor Paul Chandler, a proud Bidjigal man, was born into poverty in 1962. His Nanna and Aunty instilled a love of learning from an early age and Paul was the first person in his family to finish primary school. Through working as a paperboy, blacksmith and catching fish and seafood he paid his way through School and then Sydney University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science with 1st class Honours in Psychology and Masters in Education at Sydney University in 1987. Working in a surf shop and teaching in a local high school, he completed a Masters of Science (in Psychology) and PhD in cognition and learning at UNSW. In 1993, he became the first Aboriginal to receive a PhD from UNSW. He was immediately offered by the Federal government an Australian Research Council upon completion of his PhD which won every award available in NSW, Australia and overseas. As a teaching academic, he was one of the Faculty’s most popular lecturers and was invited around Australia and overseas to provide many teaching and research engagements. Paul went on to serve two terms as Head of the School of Education at UNSW. He remains one of the highly cited educational researchers in the world. Paul was formally recognised as one of the top 10 Scientists in Australia in 2007 by the Australian Research Council.

Paul joined the University of Wollongong (UOW) as Dean of Education in 2007, becoming the first Aboriginal Faculty Dean in Australia. Paul completed two terms as Dean and transformed the Faculty into a teaching and research powerhouse that is now rated first in the country. During this time Paul and Michelle became foster carers for two siblings, aged 2 and 6 weeks, which they describe as the most joyous moment of their lives. The Chandler family went from 4 to 6 overnight, and the two young children became immersed in community, family and University life.

Inspired by the power of the early years of life, Professor Chandler was the intellectual architect and visionary behind the $44 million Early Start Project and moved into the role of Executive Director of Early Start throughout the planning stages until the project was formally established. He remains the Foundation Chair of Early Start which sees 250,000 families come through its doors each year. He also remains on the Advisory Board of the $300 million Digital Child Project.

Paul was then appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach) at UOW where he oversaw their Aboriginal Centre (WIC), their Inaugural Aboriginal Strategy and Reconciliation Action Plan.

Today, life for Professor Chandler has come full circle. Paul retired from UOW in 2020 and moved into semi-retirement.  Now semi-retired Professor Paul Chandler is back at UNSW and works on numerous Government and private boards where he feels he can bring about positive social change. He Chaired the My Forever Family NSW Advisory Committee for 3 years and now is a Board member of Adopt Change.

Continuum Consulting

Continuum Consulting provides quality facilitation, consultation, supervision, assessments, policy writing and therapeutic and training services in the continuum of care from child protection through to adoption.

My Forever Family NSW  is committed to providing the best support and service to our carers.