Permanent Care is an option used to provide a long term stable placement for children in out of home care. Permanent Care involves the transfer of custody and guardianship of a child in care to a new ‘permanent’ family.
Transfer of Guardianship
- Transfer of Guardianship results in foster or kinship carers who are already caring for a child long term taking on the guardianship responsibility for the child. Following transfer the child remains under a Care and Protection Order, however the child is no longer actively case managed by Child Safety Service. Instead the child’s carers are given clear responsibility for all aspects of caring for the child and for making the decisions to do with their upbringing.
- The State continues to provide carer payments for these children.
- Adoptions and Permanency Services review the child’s circumstances 12 months after the transfer to guardianship and will continue to provide some limited additional support and referral for guardians and the children in their care until they reach 18 years.
- A Transfer of Guardianship order preserves the basic legal relationship between the child and their birth family.
Adoptions from Care
- Under Section 70 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997, the Secretary of the Department may consent to a child in State Care long term on a long term guardianship order, being adopted under the Adoption Act 1988.
- Adoption is the process whereby parental rights and responsibilities are legally and permanently transferred from birth parents to adoptive parents. All previous family relationships are legally severed, although open adoptions are the norm and communication and contact for a child and their biological family can continue by agreement.
- An application to the Court to grant an Adoption Order for a child placed in out of home care will only be made if:
- the child understands and agrees with the proposal (dependent on the child’s age and intellectual capacity)
- the child’s parents have consented to the Order (or there is a strong case for seeking to dispense with consent) and
- where relevant, the proposal is supported by Aboriginal organisations that are involved with the child and the child’s family.