Every child deserves a permanent, loving and stable home for life.
When restoration to birth family is no longer possible, three permanent pathways will be explored. These include guardianship/kinship, open adoption and long-term foster care.
Guardianship/kinship orders and open adoption aim to provide greater stability for children and young people. They differ in that open adoption is a Supreme Court order for life.
In both instances, the carer becomes the legal guardian for the child and must be able to independently co-ordinate a positive and ongoing relationship with the child’s extended family.
To become the legal guardian, the carer must demonstrate an established, positive relationship with the child or young person and display a willingness and ability to independently manage the child or young person’s care. Guardianship is a realistic and achievable option providing greater permanency and stability for the child or young person to live in a nurturing and safe home.
As a guardian, you have the full care and legal responsibility for the child/young person including making independent decisions about their health, education and managing contact with family and significant people.
Due to the permanency of an Adoption Order, identifying it as being in the best interests of the child or young person is paramount.
Research indicates the outcomes for children in foster care are improved significantly when they have a secure and stable home. Open adoption is being encouraged for all children who are unable to remain with their families or be placed with kin.
Whilst open adoption is a permanent approach and the carers become the legal parents, there must be a committed and ongoing focus on connecting and maintaining sibling and family relationships.
The act of adoption creates new families. Taking the time to understand the relationships and unique dynamics of the birth family is essential. Openness in adoption is about so much more than the mutually agreed time spent together between adoptive families and birth families. Openness is the way we start and conduct conversations with our families. Openness is an attitude that CatholicCare will support you to develop with birth families during your journey.
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