On 21 May 2018 the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) announced Adopt Change as a major recipient of the NSW Carer Tender – indicating a worrying ideological shift to an adoption focused program.
Fostering NSW and Connecting carers has now been replaced with a program called “My Forever Family.”
Greens MP and Child Protection spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“Real concerns have been raised by those in the sector that Adopt Change has no specific experience working in out of home care.
“The award of the tender appears based on an ideological commitment to adoption by the Minister, rather than recognition of the complex care needs of children in care.
“An adoption-at-all-costs focus is one that does not put children at the heart of decision making and does not work towards restoring them to their birth families.
“The Minister’s fixation on adoption is seeing enormous resources and political capital devoted to what is, at best, a boutique solution for children at risk.
“Despite years of effort adoption numbers have not exceeded 150 children a year, while almost 19,000 children are in Out Of Home Care.
“Adoption should not, and will not, be an answer to the crisis in child protection.
“In Australia we have a lot of experience of what happens when you encourage adoption as the solution to complex social and family problems. We don’t need another lost generation.
“Social support programs should proceed from the fundamental commitment to family support services that wherever possible work to restore children to their birth families,” Mr Shoebridge said