Safe Home For Life

The NSW Government has introduced new legislation to strengthen our child protection system so every child in NSW has ‘A Safe Home for Life‘.

The Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2014, passed by Parliament on 26 March 2014, changes the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

The ‘A Safe Home for Life’ child protection legislative reforms are the first step towards a less legalistic, process driven child protection system in NSW that places children and their families at the centre of decision making.

The reforms help place children at risk of significant harm on a path to a positive future by focusing on three key areas:

These changes mean many families get support earlier to keep their children safe and prevent them from entering into care.

Keeping families together safely is always the priority. But where this is not possible, for the first time NSW has a clear hierarchy of permanent care options that places children and young people at the centre of decision-making. At the heart of this hierarchy is the need to look at the individual circumstances of each child. Adoption processes have also been streamlined as part of the reforms.

These changes follow an extensive period of consultation, which included talking to many young adults who had been through the child protection system, our non government partners, other government agencies, our staff and the community.

Read more about the A Safe Home for Life legislative reforms:


View the SBS Insight program ‘Should it be easier to adopt Australian children?’ (video) shown on 4 March 2014 with key statements from Minister Goward.

Four short videos explore aspects of the Safe Home for Life Child Protection Reforms. Watch Minister Goward’s answers to these questions:

  1. How do we better support parents and prevent children coming into care by keeping children safe at home? (video)
  2. Why is there such a focus on adoption? (video)
  3. How will the permanent placement principles apply in practice? (video)
  4. Will more Aboriginal children be adopted? (video)

Next steps

The reforms are expected to start in late October 2014. If you require further information or have a question about the Government’s reforms email

Safe Home for Life Consultation Report

View the child protection legislative reforms factsheet (PDF)

Safe Home for Life – Guardianship

Changes from parental responsibility orders to guardianship orders – information for Carers