Providing education and support to deliver better outcomes for children and families in permanent care and adoption

Research: Studies and Papers

Inquiry into the implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Amendment

The Victorian Government response to the findings and recommendation of the inquiry into the implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014. 

The Minister for Families and Children requested the Commission for Children and Young People complete an independent inquiry into the permanency changes following the first six months of their operation to examine if the stated objectives were being met and whether they were having any unintended consequences.

The permanency changes were passed by the Victorian Parliament in September 2014 and commenced in March 2016.  To read the full report, you can visit the website   You will find the documents in PDF and Word format at the end of the paper; be aware, it is 260 pages long!


Survey results

Legal Survey results 

The Permanent Care and Adoptive Families legal survey was conducted online and directed at permanent care families from within the membership of PCA Families and Mirabel Foundation. The aim of the survey was to gain awareness of the experiences and concerns facing families formed through permanent care, in particular when dealing with the Children’s Court, accessing legal assistance, and seeking support from Adoption and Permanent Care services of the Victorian Department of Human Services (now called Department of Health and Human Services).

This information will assist PCA Families to better represent and advocate for children and families in permanent care.

You will find the full report on Legal Answers for Permanent Care Families 


Social Media results from survey


Recently PCA Families conducted a survey on social media to guage how our members use social media.  To read the results, click here

Thanks to all who participated.  Your time and effort is much appreciated and provides us with the information we need to decide which is the best medium, how, when and why.


Papers and Findings

What keeps parents awake at night - Local and Adoptive Families in Queensland report

In October 2012, 50 adoptive families who formed their family through local adoption in Queensland in the last 10 years were invited to participate in the Local Adoption Support Group (LASG) survey “What keeps you awake at night?”. These families were asked to share the questions that keep them awake at night so that the LASG could gain a greater understanding of the experiences and needs of adoptive families in Queensland and Australia.

The results of the survey were anonymous and provide an invaluable insight into the concerns of contemporary adoptive parents as they raise their children in a social environment that does not always understand the needs and nuances of modern adoption.

To read the full report click on the link.


A ‘Carers’ Perspective on Permanent Care: Is there a Third Way between Permanent Care and Adoption?

This paper discusses the merits of the Permanent Care system in Victoria, in comparison to other methods of providing permanent families for children unable to live with birth parents. It raises the possibility of a new type of order which would combine the best aspects, for a child and family, of both a Permanent Care Order (PCO) and an Adoption Order. 

"I am a parent, and long-time ‘stay home dad’, who has three children in his family; one biological son, and two children who have joined the family via the Victoria Government’s Permanent Care program. If you try telling my 10 year old son that I’m not actually his Dad, but that I’m his ‘Permanent Carer’, or even his ‘Guardian’, he would wonder what you were talking about. What is important to him is that he has a real life, genuine, loving, caring Mum and Dad. Even though we are described by the State as ‘permanent carers’, to our son we are simply his Mum and Dad. He knows we weren’t there when he was born, but he knows who he is, where he’s come from, and that his Mum and Dad are going to be travelling alongside him to wherever he’s going".  To read more, click on the link

Dan Barron, Permanent Care Parent and PCA Families Board Member


Strengthening Kinship Families - Strengthening Kinship Families: The role of respite care

The Permanent Care and Adoptive Families commends the latest report published through the Respite Care Consortium, Strengthening Kinship Families: the role of respite care. PCA Families is particularly proud that so many of its staff were involved in the development of the report.

This report demonstrates the vital role that respite care plays in supporting kinship carers and their families. It deepens our understanding of the access to respite available to kinship carers throughout the state and identifies opportunities for improving respite services to carers.

PCA Families hopes that the report will be used as a resource by the community sector and the Department for Human Services to inform protocols and ongoing practice development in the area of kinship care support.


Infants in care - Baby on Board : Report of the Infants in Care and Family Contact Research Project

Contact between infants in protective care and their families was raised as an issue by staff of community service organisations (CSOs), as well as Department of Human Services Victoria (DHS) Child Protection staff.

The over-arching aim of the research was the development of a better understanding of infants' best interests in relation to intensive family contact during protective placements. In particular, the intent was to explore current practice by DHS and community organisations in managing family contact, and to consider the impact of orders being made by the Children’s Court. Issues to be explored included the physical and psychological needs of infants; frequency of family contact; issues of
attachment and neurological development; and numbers of infants involved in current arrangements.

This research forms Stage 1 of a two-stage research process; Stage 2 is currently being developed (see Methodology in report).


Home based carer and professional support needs survey

Impact of past adoption practices: Summary of key issues from Australian research

Support in Kith and Kin Care: The Experience of Carers


Current Studies

National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Experiences

Participants are being sought for a nation-wide study into past adoption experiences to identify the support and service needs of people.

It will be the largest study of this nature ever conducted in Australia.

The purpose of this research is to understand the current needs of people affected by past adoption experiences, particularly the closed adoption processes in place until the 1980s.

Input is being sought from people who were involved in any way, such as:

• People who have been separated from a child by adoption;
• People who were adopted;
• Adoptive parents; and
• Any other family members (including other children, spouses and grandparents).

Input is being sought from professionals servicing current needs of people affected by adoption (counselors, psychologists, etc).

To take part in this survey, go to:



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