Contact us

Summary for designated agencies

Amendments to the Adoption Act 2000 Reference

Anything done by or with the approval of the Principal Officer will be taken to be done by the accredited adoption service provider – that is the actions of the Principal Officer are equivalent to the actions of agency

s. 14

Applicant” means a person whose application to adopt that is still current. 

“Reside on a property” includes sleep on a regular or frequent basis anywhere on the property (including in a building, caravan, structure, vehicle or other thing). (This is the same meaning as in the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012).

s. 41A and s. 45CA

In the selection of prospective adoptive parents other than authorised carers and the selection of authorised carers as adoptive parents, any person can provide information about another person to the Principal Officer/ Secretary of Family and Community Services if they have been notified or reasonably believe that that person is an applicant/person who resides on the same property as the applicant. 

The information provided can be used to decide on a person’s suitability to adopt.

s. 45AA and s. 45GA
An adoption applicant must notify the Secretary of Family and Community Services/Principal Officer if any person resides on the property for more than three weeks or if a person residing on the same property turns 18. s. 45AB and s. 45GB
A Principal Officer can invite an authorised carer of a child in out-of-home care to apply to adopt the child in accordance with Clause 17 of the Adoption Regulation. s. 45D
Amendments to the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 Reference
A new definition of “notifiable person” has been introduced to clarify who should be notified if a person is barred or interim barred. s. 5
“Resides on property” includes sleep on a regular or frequent basis anywhere on the property (including in a building, caravan, structure, vehicle or other thing). s 5A
Government and designated agencies are required to register and verify online a Working With Children Check clearance before employing a person or within five days of a clearance expiring. s.9A
Governing bodies must make sure persons appointed to key positions hold a WWCC clearance and must keep a record for seven years on how the governing body determined that the person held a clearance. s. 9B
Interim bars are enforceable against adults residing on the same property as an authorised carer or person providing home care services. These adults can, however, rely on a defence that they did not know about an interim bar, withdrawal, termination, refusal or cancellation for more than 48 hours. s. 10
Designated agencies will be responsible for verifying prospective adoptive parents, prospective guardians and adults residing on the same property with them and adults residing on the same property as an authorised carer or carer applicant. s. 11B
Clarification that an interim bar means a person is barred from residing on the same property as the authorised carer/home based education/family day care service provider. s. 17
Designated agencies must notify the Children’s Guardian if they find misconduct against an adult person who has resided for more than three weeks on the property of an authorised carer. s.35
The Children’s Guardian is permitted to disclose information about an authorised carer, carer applicant, prospective adoptive parent, guardian or prospective guardian, persons who resides with any of the above to the Secretary of Family and Community Services for the purpose of his/her functions under Part 4 of the Care Act ie about a child and young person in need of care/protection. s.48A
Amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 Reference

Clarification of meaning of Principal Officer:
The Principal Officer is the person with the overall supervision of the agency’s arrangements for providing the relevant type of care

Anything done by the Principal Officer or with the approval of the Principal Officer is taken to be done by the relevant agency (ie designated agency/registered agency)

This provision applies to things done by or with the approval of a Principal Officer before and after the commencement of this amendment.

s 5A
The Children’s Court is not to make an order allocating any aspect of parental responsibility to an organisation or Principal Officer (but can make it to the Secretary of Family and Community Services ). s 79
The Secretary must not make an application for a guardianship order or consent to a designated agency or other person making such an application unless satisfied that the person has satisfied suitability assessments under the Child and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012. s 79B
A care plan by an applicant for guardianship must include information about contact arrangements between child and persons connected with the child. s 79B(9)

A prospective guardian (other than an authorised carer) must notify the Secretary of Family and Community Services if a person resides on the same property as the prospective guardian for three weeks or more if a person residing on the same property turns 18

This extends to any person residing on the same property who has not been notified even if the person commenced residing or turned 18 before the commencement of the provision.

s 79D

An authorised carer must notify a designated agency if a person resides on their property for more than three weeks, or if a person residing on their property turns 18 years old.

This extends to any person residing on the carer’s property who they have not notified the designated agency about, even if the person commenced residing or turned 18 before the commencement of the provision.

s 137

 

It is an offence with max penalty of $22,000 if the Principal Officer of a designated agency resides on the same property as a child/young person who is in out-of-home care supervised by the designated agency.

It is not an offence if the Principal Officer resides with a child at a facility of a designated agency at which out-of-home care is provided.

s 171A

Decisions not to authorise a person as an authorised carer, decisions to cancel an authorisation granted on a provisional basis and decisions to cancel authorisation on the occurrence of an event prescribed by the regulation that raises a presumption of cancellation will NOT be reviewable by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The limitation of review rights do not apply to decisions made before the commencement of the amendment.

s 245
Permits a person to be prescribed as a prescribed body for the purposes of information sharing under Chapter 16A. s 245B
Any person can provide information about specified categories of individuals to a designated agency. The designated agency can use that information to assess the individual’s suitability as an authorised carer or guardian. The specified categories of individuals are authorised carers, carer applicants, guardians, prospective guardians or persons who reside on the properties of such persons. A person who provides such information in good faith to a designated agency is protected from liability by Chapter 16A.

s 245CA

 

Makes provision for exchange of information between state child protection bodies and bodies that arrange or provide child protection, out-of-home care , guardianship or adoption services in other jurisdictions

The type of information that may be exchanged is assessment information relevant to assessing the suitability of a person to be an adoptive parent, authorised carer or guardian or equivalent in other jurisdictions

s 248B

Regulations can make provision for appointment of Principal Officers and other officers by designated agencies and registered agencies and with regard to the Carers Register.

s 264
Community Services (Complaints Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993 Reference

An Official Community Visitor is to provide the Children’s Guardian with any information that the Children’s Guardian determines is relevant to the accreditation or registration of a designated agency or a registered agency

This extends to information obtained by an official Community Visitor before the commencement of this provision.

s 8A
A person can make a complaint to the Ombudsman about the conduct of a designated agency re authorisation of a person as an authorised carer. s 22
Ombudsman Act 1974 Reference
Part 3A will apply to individuals who reside on the same property with an authorised carer (other than a child)for more than three weeks in the same way that it applies to an employee and such an adult is taken to be the employee of the designated agency that authorised the carer. s 25AAA

Certain information about an investigation into a reportable allegation may be disclosed to the child who is allegedly the subject of the misconduct that is the basis of the allegation, the parent or the authorised carer of the child.

This extends to information about an investigation that began before the commencement of this amendment.

s 25GA

Certain information about an investigation into a reportable allegation may be disclosed to the person with a disability who is allegedly the subject of the misconduct that is the basis of the allegation, the nominee or specified persons concerned about the person’s welfare.

This extends to information about an investigation that began before the commencement of this amendment.

s 25WA

 

 

© Copyright Crown in right of the State of New South Wales