Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women Pru Goward tonight welcomed the most important reforms to child protection in a generation passing both houses of NSW Parliament.

“This new legislation provides for earlier intervention to keep families together with support.  It also means courts will have new powers to order parents to undergo treatment or attend services to deal with the issues putting their children at risk,” Ms Goward said. 

“Also, these laws mean the Department of Family and Community Services must consider adoption for children where the court has ordered that the child cannot return to its parents or family until the age of 18.  This presents an option for permanency and stability where foster care too often cannot.

“The new laws are designed to give vulnerable children the best possible chance of a safe and stable home for life.

“Tonight I sat in the Legislative Council and listened to the points raised from all sides of politics.  I want to thank the cross-bench parties for their support in ensuring the Government can continue improving the child protection system.

“I particularly wish to thank Paul Green MLC of the Christian Democratic Party for his thoughtful contribution to the debate, from his unique perspective,” Ms Goward said.

“It was disappointing Labor attempted to water down the reforms, and the Greens chose to try and block the legislation on ideological grounds. Indeed, the most disturbing aspect of the debate was to hear Greens MLC David Shoebridge refer to adoption as “privatisation”.

“Tonight’s passing of the legislation is a step in the right direction for at-risk children and their families across this state. The new laws create more tools for courts and caseworkers to provide children with a safe and stable home for life,” Ms Goward said.

Pru Goward

Member for Goulburn

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Authorised by Pru Goward, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000