(1) This Act is to be administered under the principle that, in any action or decision concerning a particular child or young person, the safety, welfare and well-being of the child or young person are paramount.
(2) Subject to subsection (1), the other principles to be applied in the administration of this Act are as follows:
(a) Wherever a child or young person is able to form his or her own views on a matter concerning his or her safety, welfare and well-being, he or she must be given an opportunity to express those views freely and those views are to be given due weight in accordance with the developmental capacity of the child or young person and the circumstances.
(b) In all actions and decisions made under this Act (whether by legal or administrative process) that significantly affect a child or young person, account must be taken of the culture, disability, language, religion and sexuality of the child or young person and, if relevant, those with parental responsibility for the child or young person.
(c) In deciding what action it is necessary to take (whether by legal or administrative process) in order to protect a child or young person from harm, the course to be followed must be the least intrusive intervention in the life of the child or young person and his or her family that is consistent with the paramount concern to protect the child or young person from harm and promote the child’s or young person’s development.
(d) If a child or young person is temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or cannot be allowed to remain in that environment in his or her own best interests, the child or young person is entitled to special protection and assistance from the State, and his or her name, identity, language, cultural and religious ties should, as far as possible, be preserved.
(e) If a child or young person is placed in out-of-home care, arrangements should be made, in a timely manner, to ensure the provision of a safe, nurturing, stable and secure environment, recognising the child’s or young person’s circumstances and that, the younger the age of the child, the greater the need for early decisions to be made in relation to a permanent placement.
(f) If a child or young person is placed in out-of-home care, the child or young person is entitled to a safe, nurturing, stable and secure environment. Unless it is contrary to his or her best interests, and taking into account the wishes of the child or young person, this will include the retention by the child or young person of relationships with people significant to the child or young person, including birth or adoptive parents, siblings, extended family, peers, family friends and community. Source : http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/inforcepdf/1998-157.pdf?id=469250d9-68e0-4edf-c951-e1a899fb7c5
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