This review is part of a national series that highlights that there has been significant work undertaken in states and territories to strengthen adherence with the five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP), but that overall implementation remains poor and limited. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to be separated from family and culture at alarming rates, and there are a lack of comprehensive approaches to involving children, families, and communities in decisions and services related to the care and protection of children.
- Australian Capital Territory still has a long way to go to fully implement the intent of the ATSICPP. Although there have been some efforts made to embed the ATSICPP across policy, programs, processes and practice, there remain gaps in implementation that must be urgently addressed to improve outcomes.
- Action has been taken to improve ways kin carers are found, assessed and supported. However, the placement of children with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers is below the national average, revealing that more must be done to find and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kin carers, especially when children first enter out-of-home care.
- The government has made promising efforts to support Family Group Conferencing, which has led to the increased participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families in decision-making. More efforts must be taken to ensure this process is available to all families at key decision-making points across the child protection continuum. Community leaders have also expressed that this process should be fully independent.