Reuniting children in care with relatives

Published 11th April, 2016 in Family & Community Services

NSW social workers will be trained in techniques to trace family members of children in care to help them find a permanent home.

Child and adult holding hands
Social workers will be trained in family tracing techniques to help find a permanent home for children in care.

The Family Finding model uses a combination of techniques and technology, including social media and public records resources, to locate relatives of children in out-of-home care to find the child a permanent home with wider family members, or to receive long-term family support they otherwise would not have had.

The model is based on the tracing techniques used by the International Red Cross to locate kin for those displaced by war in Rwanda and will provide front-line practitioners with strategies and tools to help them identify, engage and build a network of support around children.

Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard said the process identifies relatives and other supportive adults, estranged from or unknown to a child living in out-of-home care and looks to connect them.

“We have close to 20,000 children in out-of-home care in NSW and we will investigate every avenue possible to find these children a permanent home,” Mr Hazzard said.

A meaningful connection to family helps a child living in out-of-home care to develop a sense of belonging and assists them in their later adult years.

NSW is reforming the Out-Of-Home Care system so fewer children will need to enter long-term foster care. If a child cannot be restored safely to their parents, NSW then prioritises placement with other family members.

The next option is Open Adoption, where the children know their biological parents but have the security of a permanent home.

Published 11th April, 2016 in Family & Community Services