Adoption in Australia has dropped to its lowest level on record – with less than 1% of children in out of home care being taken in to more permanent homes – according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
“Around 30,000 Australian children have been in out of home care for more than 2 years yet we saw only 196 children (0.65%) adopted in the past year. This is a failing of government’s right around Australia,” said the Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Zed Seselja.
“We know the facts. We know going from foster care home to foster care home is not good for children. We know foster care should be a temporary solution to children in need but evidence shows overwhelmingly that children need stability and permanency in their lives.”
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The Senator said young people in the out of home care system are also 14 times more likely to end up in trouble with the law.
“Young people who enter the out of home care system are more likely to need specialist homelessness support services and those who are in the system long term are less likely to finish school and be employed,” he said.
“These children are our most vulnerable and they need our help. We need to make a difference in the lives of these thousands of children and allow them to have permanent homes.”
At a meeting in November Ministers from the Commonwealth, state and territory governments agreed to work together to improve the number of out-of-home children being moved into permanent placements.
Senator Seselja said: “In light of these latest figures this work is all the more urgent.”