Safe Home for Life

Safe Home For Life Reforms

The NSW Government has introduced new legislation as part of the Safe Home for Life reform package. This legislation was proclaimed on 29th October 2014, resulting in changes for ACWA members and service providers within the sector.

ACWA has created a number of resources and events to develop sector capacity to consider a continuum of care for children. Information on events and resources can be found on this website and in the Members’ Area.

Further information and resources about the reforms can be found on the Family and Community Services (FACS) website and any questions about the reforms can be emailed.

Information Seminars 

ACWA held two Safe Home for Life Seminars with FACS team leaders and knowledge partners in 2014. These seminars were a space to hear the information available from FACS about the reforms, focusing on contact, restoration, guardianship and open adoption.

View videos and slides from both seminars.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the place of open adoption in the permanency placement principles for a child or young person?

Open adoption is one of the permanent placement options that must be considered before a child is placed in foster care. When a child or young person cannot be restored to the care of their parents, and guardianship is not appropriate, open adoption should be sought where it is practical and in the best interests of the child or young person.

For more information on open adoption, see the factsheets on open adoption and the permanency placement principles.

How are the timeframes around restorative decisions applied?

The Children’s Court must decide if restoration is a realistic possibility within a certain timeframe. These timeframes guide when a decision about restoration should be made, not the timeframe in which restoration should occur. The court also has the power to extend the timeframe when it is in the best interests of the child or young person.

More information on restoration timeframes and the permanency placement principles.

How have the changes from parental responsibility orders to guardianship orders affected current carers?

On 29 October 2014, relative and kinship carers who had all aspects of parental responsibility for children or young people in their care by an order of the Children’s Court under Section 79(1)(a)(iii) of the Care Act changed to guardians.

More information on guardianship orders.

What are the changes to the administration of psychotropic drugs to children and young people in OOHC?

Administering a psychotropic drug to a child in OOHC for the purpose of controlling behavior is no longer classified as ‘special medical treatment’.

For more information on this, see the caseworker guide.

What is the difference between a parent responsibility contract and a parent capacity order?

Parent responsibility contracts cover up to 12 months and aim to improve parenting skills and encourage parents to accept greater responsibility for the care of their child. The new parent capacity order requires a parent to participate in a parent capacity program, service or treatment with the duration of the order depending on the service, program or treatment required.

More information on parenting resources.