The Queensland Government and Family Matters Queensland have committed to Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families 2017–2037. Changing Tracks is the first action plan created to realise this strategy. This action plan sets the foundations for change and will put us on a new track to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.
In 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children do not have the same health and wellbeing outcomes as other Queensland children. Sadly, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out-of-home care and not living in their communities is increasing. This action plan, the first of seven, compels us to work differently and set the enabling environment to allow for shared power and responsibility in meeting the needs of Queensland’s First Children and Families.
- Through this action plan, the government and Family Matters have committed to child and family wellbeing and empowerment by working together over the next three years to establish mechanisms to hear and incorporate the voices of children in policy and service design.
- One of the plan's targets is to close the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families and eliminate the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system by 2037.
- All families should be able to enjoy access to quality, culturally safe universal and targeted services necessary for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to thrive. And Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations participate in and have control over decisions that affect their children.
- There will be support for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with disability to prepare for the NDIS, and improve health and developmental milestones for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2–5 years by ensuring access to health, early years and disability services.
- The plan recognises that cultural connectedness is one of the best protective factors for keeping children safe within their families. To support this, when coordinating services we must understand and help to create informal community and family networks.