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First Peoples

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Submission to the Commission for Children and Young People Inquiry into the implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014

Aboriginal people (Australia) First Nations children Child mental health First Nations youth Cultural awareness Self-determination First Peoples child protection Victoria

The Victorian Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Alliance (The Alliance) consists of 13 Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) involved in providing out of home care services for Koori kids. They aim to advocate for, and positively influence the future of, Aboriginal children and young people in Victoria. VACCHO is the auspice agency to the Alliance.

The Inquiry will consider:

  • the impact of the permanency amendments on vulnerable children and their families
  • whether the permanency amendments are leading to more timely permanent outcomes, including family preservation and family reunification for vulnerable children, and more timely outcomes for children for whom it is unsafe to return to the care of a parent 
  • whether the permanency amendments have strengthened cultural supports and planning for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care
  • the impact of the permanency amendments on child protection and other services

Key Findings:

  • The impact of the permanency amendments has caused significant distress to many Aboriginal families and carers.
  • Child protection workers do not have a clear understanding of the ACPP, which may increase the chances of an Aboriginal child or young person entering into permanent care.
  • ‘Tick a box’ assessments undertaken by Child Protection Unit (CPU) during the case planning stages, do not contain satisfactory collection of relevant information to capture Aboriginal children and young persons’ connection to Aboriginal family, Culture, Community and Country.
  • The Alliance recommends that DHHS child protection embed the ACPP in all elements of practice to prevent Aboriginal children and young people entering the out of home care system and/or placed inappropriately.
  • The Alliance recommends culturally safe post care legal support to ensure that Aboriginal families fully understand the conditions as set out in court documents
Publication Details
Access Rights Type: