Permanent care and adoption
The Barnardos Find-a-Family program offers adoption and permanent family care to children aged from birth to 18 years who have been permanently separated from their birth families by the court because it is not safe for them to remain at home.
We have a strong focus on permanency planning but also place emphasis on maintaining birth family relationships, which are important to children who are in care.
As a non-Government agency involved in the placement of children in Out of Home Care, all our children are placed with carers initially in a foster care placement. Our program Find-a-Family specialises in children whom have already received a long term care order from the court system. We then place a child with a foster family which would potentially adopt that child when it becomes a possibility. In NSW foster carers can apply to adopt a child in their care after a period of two years, although for some children this can happen in a shorter period of time. Australia has an open adoption policy.
The underlying principles of our program are that a secure family environment provides best for the needs of the child. In addition, we believe that children require stability in a placement with the same carers to develop to their full potential and to establish relationships based on trust. Our first priority is always to provide for the needs of the child.
We believe that children who enter the care system have a right to the same opportunities and safeguards as children who remain with their families of origin. Adoption is the only option that offers a complete commitment to a child - one that lasts beyond adolescence and throughout adulthood.
We attribute our success rate with long term placement to the careful matching process we undertake when considering permanent placements. Carefully matching placements, along with the support our carers receive from us, ensures that the placement has the best chance of success.
We pride ourselves on offering genuine and intensive support to carers undertaking fostering, whether you are an experienced carer or a first time parent. You will have a dedicated case manager who will regularly visit you and the child in your home and you will be given appropriate contact details to enable you to gain support in crisis situations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, we provide carers with monthly, weekend respite for children over five years of age in permanent care. We provide ongoing training, support groups and social activities for carers and a regular allowance. We are also able to provide specialist services and support where needed including counselling, youth worker support, educational support or specialist medical treatment for children in foster care. Carer Application Form
Barnardos Find-a-Family places a strong emphasis on securing adoptions for a large number of children in our program. However, some children, due to their age, size of family group, attachment issues or degree of emotional disturbance and behavioural difficulties, may remain in permanent care rather than move towards adoption.
Adoption legally removes the rights and responsibilities of the child’s birth parents or the Minster and transfers these to the adoptive parents. The child will generally take on the surname of the adoptive family and will obtain a new birth certificate that gives details of the adoptive parents as the parents of the child.