In the news: NSW Premier promises reforms in the residential care system for children without carers


What’s happening?

Recently on the ABC, there was a Four Corners investigation on neglect and abuse in residential group homes. In Broken Homes: On the frontline of Australia’s child protection crisis, reporter Linton Besser highlights how “resi kids” are not only subject to abuse but also widespread neglect. In NSW, there are 660 children who do not have foster carers and thus live in residential homes. The investigation found that some of the country’s most damaged children are still being placed in danger.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has now promised reforms for the care of children who have been removed from their homes, admitting that the system must improve. Mr Geary, the Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People, has added that residential care homes were a disgraceful way to care for children and should be phased out entirely.

“”If we had more foster carers who were better resourced, and as a consequence were more accountable, these children would be cared for not in barns with other children who are needy, but in home-based care.” – Mr Geary

Premier Mike Baird has stated that the fact that 60 per cent of homeless people have been under state care at some stage proves not enough was being done to help them find a path in life, and his suggested reforms would involve creating a single entity to ensure there was one point of contact for children that fell under the care of Family and Community Services.

“We will start the reforms with one of the most vulnerable groups — children under 12 in residential care. They will get the health, mental health and psychological interventions they need so that they can have a permanent stable home.” – Premier Baird

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person


The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:






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