Permanency planning

Last update: 14 February 2022

The moment a child is placed in your agency’s care, you should begin the process of permanency planning. 

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    Permanency planning

    One of the principles guiding out-of-home care in NSW is that children’s safety and wellbeing usually benefits from stable, permanent placements. In line with this, the legislation provides for the following hierarchy of permanency options.

    All agencies must consider this hierarchy of options when placing a child or young person:

    • Restoration to family
    • Guardianship by a relative or kin or another suitable person
    • For the child to be adopted (except in the case of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or young person)
    • For the child to be placed under the parental responsibility of the Minister.

    Permanency and stability 

    How your agency supports, monitors and assesses a child or young person’s readiness to progress to permanent care to permanent care is a key part of case planning, case review and casework. 

    Permanency planning is also enshrined in the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care in the following ways: 

    • Standard 13 requires agencies to apply permanent placement principles to all placement decisions. This has implications for how agencies undertake their initial assessment of needs and how these inform placement matching decisions. 
    • Standard 14 requires agencies to have a case plan that also includes a permanent placement plan for each child. The plan should include clear tasks that move towards achieving permanency planning goals. 
    • Standard 19 identifies authorisation requirements for carers, guardians and prospective adoptive parents.

    Read more about the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent care:

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