This report reviews the progress of the South Australian (SA) Government in implementing the full intent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP). This review is conducted on the basis of the best practice approach set out in SNAICC, 2017, Understanding and Applying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle – A Resource for Legislation, Policy, and Program Development and SNAICC, 2018, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle: A Guide to Support Implementation.
This review is based on available documentation gathered through a desktop review and input provided by the SA Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector leaders.
- In an important positive move concerning partnership, the first SA Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People (CACYP) was appointed in the reporting period. While this represents significant progress, the CACYP has no independent powers in legislation yet, limiting the provision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander systems oversight.
- In terms of ‘placement’, the proportion of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children placed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers in SA continues to be very low (41% in 2017-18 up from 39.7% in 2016-17). Some positive programming developments show potential to shift this with strong and early implementation, including the establishment of the Aboriginal Family Scoping Unit, the ongoing rollout of the Winangay kinship carer assessment tool and implementation of tools to ensure genograms and eco-maps are constructed in conversation with families and used to identify kinship placement options.
- Without any publicly available child protection practitioner manuals, guidelines or procedures, it remains difficult to determine the quality of processes across the prevention element or other ATSICPP elements. A list of all policies is provided on the Department website with an invitation to make a Freedom of Information request for access. This will be undertaken to provide a substantive review, where possible, in 2020.