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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

Guide

Turning the tide

Beginning a new plan to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care
Publisher
First Peoples child protection First Nations children First Peoples families Out-of-home care Australia
Resources
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Turning the tide 1.64 MB
Description

This document has been developed to help guide consultations to inform the successor plan for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, particularly its dedicated focus on improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

There is an urgency required to achieve change due to the increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children coming into out-of-home care and not being reunified, and concerningly, being permanently placed, often with non-Indigenous carers. The successor plan will include a dedicated focus and targeted strategies for responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. It will seek to focus the efforts of government, services and communities across the country to help achieve the target in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to, by 2031, reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45%.

Key Findings/Recommendations:

  • The successor plan will include a dedicated focus and targeted strategies for responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. It will seek to focus the efforts of government, services and communities across the country to help achieve the target in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to, by 2031, reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45%.
  • To achieve the magnitude of change required also requires a substantive focus on workforce development. This is two-fold – there is a need to address systemic racism and cultural safety within the child protection system overall, particularly the non-Indigenous workforce, and to date this has been patchy and often limited in application. There is also a need to invest in building the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to support increased focus on cultural safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led early intervention.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and participation in decisions across the spectrum of child and family welfare are also critical to ensure genuine responsiveness to needs, and decisions in the best interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. While legislation change remains the responsibility of individual states and territories, and the Commonwealth, at a national level, the implementation of national standards, targets and measures for family support, child protection and out-of-home care systems can also be used to drive system transformation.
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