The Indigenous Child Placement Principle was embedded in section 83 of the Child Protection Act 1999 to prescribe a process that must be followed by the Department of Communities when making out-of-home care placement decisions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, to help maintain their connection to family, community and culture. This audit report monitors the Department's compliance with this principle, in terms of policy mechanisms, practice, and child outcomes. This is the second audit report of the Commission; the first was conducted in 2008.
Key findings of the report are:
The Department of Communities has implemented 19 of the 28 recommendations made in the inaugural audit which were aimed at enhancing policies, practice and record keeping relevant to the application of section 83. The remaining nine recommendations are scheduled for completion in March/April 2012.
Compliance with each step required by section 83 is quite good. However, when viewed together, complete compliance with all required steps was only achieved in 15% of the sample.
Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in out-of-home care were found to be experiencing positive outcomes relevant to their contact with family and community and their opportunity to participate in cultural activities and events.
Those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people placed with Indigenous carers tended to experience the same, or better, outcomes across every measure of family and community contact and experience greater opportunities to participate in cultural activities and events.