Families to be given $3000 cash hand-out to adopt foster child

APRIL 12, 2014 10:00PM

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FAMILIES who adopt a foster child will receive a $3000 cash handout under a state government plan to help find stable homes for thousands of neglected children.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the government will double payments to families adopting foster children to help pay for education and schooling costs.

The move follows the passage of new laws in legislation changes earlier this year, which make it easier for families to adopt foster children in their care.

Under the new payment policy, the existing $1500 payment will be doubled in the first year of the adoption.

The payment will drop to $2500 in the second year, $2000 in the third year before becoming an annual payment of $1500 for each year until the child turns 18.

NSW Families and Communities Minister Pru Goward said the new payments were designed to encourage families to adopt foster children.

“Part of our child protection reforms is to encourage stable placements of children who the courts have determined cannot return to their birth-parents,” she said.

“This boost to support for adoptive parents will make it that little bit easier for prospective adoptive parents to make the decision to adopt and give a vulnerable child a stable, safe home for life.

“Adoption is not for everyone, but where it is appropriate, we want to support families in that transition period to make taking in a new family member a little less daunting.”

NSW Christian Democrats MP Paul Green, who lobbied Ms Goward to increase the payments, said the extra funds would help families considering adoption.

Mr Green, who spent time in an institution along with his six other siblings when his mother fled a domestic violence situation, said stability was an important part of family life.

The MP, who was reunited with his brothers and sisters when his mother remarried his stepfather “Page”, said the annual payments were a step in the right direction. “Doubling the payment will help just a little bit further,” he said.

The payment regime, to come into force on July 1, will be reviewed after one year to assess its effectiveness and use.