Communities and Justice

What is the Permanency Support Program?

The Permanency Support Program supports safety, wellbeing and positive life outcomes for children and young people in the child protection and OOHC systems in NSW.

It does this by providing tailored services to vulnerable children so that they can grow up in stable, secure and loving homes.

The program brings together government and non-government partners to work together in the best interests of children.

Amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and Adoption Act 2000 now support permanency for children and families. 

Permanency Case Management Policy

Read a complete list of acronyms and definitions used in permanency


Evidence demonstrates a permanent, safe and loving home gives a child or young person a better chance at leading an independent, successful life as an adult. Achieving permanency for children and young people is the priority.

The Permanency Support Program has four objectives:

  1. Fewer entries into care - by keeping families together.
  2. Shorter time in care - by returning children home or finding other permanent homes for more children.
  3. A better care experience - by supporting children’s individual needs and their recovery from trauma.
  4. Reducing  the over-representation of Aboriginal children in care - by keeping Aboriginal families together, returning children home to family/kin or placing them with a permanent legal guardian.

Under the Permanency Support Program, caseworkers work with a child and the people who love and care for that child, to identify the best permanency goal - and to attain that goal within two years.


Permanency has four dimensions:

  1. Relational permanency - The experience of having positive loving, trusting and nurturing relationships with significant others (parents, siblings, friends, family and carers).
  2. Physical permanency - Stable living arrangements and the connection a child or young person has with their community.
  3. Legal permanency - The legal arrangement for the child.
  4. Cultural permanency - children maintaining an ongoing connection to culture taking part in cultural practices, remaining in community and learning and understanding beliefs, values and stories.

Permanent placement principles are embedded in NSW law, to ensure every child or young person in the child protection or out of home care systems can achieve permanency.

The principles of placing a child or young person as close as possible to their family and community connections is also built into the NSW Practice Framework and the Permanency Case Management Policy.

Working with non-government organisation partners

Under the Permanency Support Program, Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and Permanency Support Program (PSP) providers have a different role and set of responsibilities. However, they must work together to identify, review and decide upon each child or young person's case plan goal, to secure a permanent home.

The PSP funding model sets out new expectations of the sector including:

  • working towards permanency from the time a child or young person enters care
  • collaborating more closely with DCJ and other services to achieve permanency.

Permanency Support Program infographics

Last updated:

27 Feb 2023