The NSW Government has introduced new legislation as part of the Safe Home for Life reform package to strengthen our child protection system so that every child in NSW has a 'Safe Home for Life'.
The Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2014, which was passed in the NSW Parliament on 26 March 2014, changes the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, and to a lesser extent the Adoption Act 2000 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012. These changes will come into effect on 29 October 2014.
The Safe Home for Life child protection legislative reforms are the first step towards a less legalistic, process driven child protection system in NSW that places children and their families at the centre of decision making.
The reforms help place children at risk of significant harm on a path to a positive future by focusing on three key areas:
- building parenting capacity and increasing parental responsibility
- providing greater permanency for children and young people in care
- delivering a modern, responsive and child-focused system.
Many families will get support earlier to keep their children safe and prevent them from entering into care.
Keeping families together safely is always the priority. Where this is not possible, for the first time NSW has permanent care options that place children and young people at the centre of decision-making. At the heart of this is the need to look at the individual circumstances of each child.
These changes follow an extensive period of consultation, which included talking to young adults who have been through the child protection system, our non-government partners, other government agencies, our staff and the community.
We invite you to access the Information Sheets and videos, which provide further explanation of the reforms now in effect. These can be found in the Resource Shelf under the 'Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act NSW' section.
If you require further information or have a question about the reforms, email SafeHomeForLifeReform@facs.nsw.gov.au.