Government funding to support research on children and permanency

29 August 2019
The University of Sydney will continue its world-leading research on children's best interests in open adoption and out-of-home care, thanks to a recent NSW Government investment.

This morning, New South Wales Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, The Hon. Gareth Ward delivered an address and reiterated the NSW Government’s $1.6 million commitment to the Institute of Open Adoption Studies at the University of Sydney.

In 2016, the NSW Government committed $2.6 million to establish the Institute, at the University’s School of Education and Social Work.

The additional funding will allow the Institute to continue operating for a further two years, to 2021.

“Providing permanency for vulnerable children is a top priority for our Government,” Minister Ward said. “New South Wales is leading the nation in this space and we want to build on the work we’ve already done. We’re committed to supporting the Institute of Open Adoption Studies to help make that happen.”

“We are extremely grateful for the continued support for our Institute of Open Adoption Studies, which will continue to deliver meaningful, impactful research that will make a difference,” said University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

“We would like to thank Minister Ward and the Department of Communities and Justice for their investment in our research, which will ultimately help us strengthen policy and practice for children to achieve permanency through adoption and other permanent placements,” said Director of the Institute of Open Adoption Studies, Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright.

There has never been a more urgent need for research to inform policy and practice.
Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright

“NSW is currently undertaking a once-in-a-generation reform of legislation and services for vulnerable children and families. These reforms require substantial changes in practices and new skills for implementation.

“This funding will enable the continuation of our research, founded on engagement with the sector, and prioritising research efforts towards understanding the impact and outcomes achieved for children across the different types of out-of-home care placements.”

The Institute of Open Adoption Studies is pursuing a program of applied research focused on investigating how to embed the best interests of children in restoration, guardianship, kinship care, open adoption, and long-term foster care.

The Institute recently also received funding through the federal government's ARC Linkage Project scheme for their project, ‘Fostering lifelong connections for children in permanent care’. This project is aiming to build practice change in the out-of-home care sector, starting in New South Wales and influencing practice nationally and internationally.

Minister Ward made the announcement at the ‘Relationships for Life: Research to Practice Forum’, held at the University of Sydney on Thursday 29 August.

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