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.
- Queensland leads the nation in the proportion of expenditure provided to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) for family support and intensive family support. Nevertheless, the total expenditure on ACCOs for all child protection and family support related services remains, significantly less than the percentage of children in care who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
- Although several initiatives successfully promote participation of children and families in decision-making, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision-making is still not offered widely or consistently across all points of child protection. While the data indicates 95% of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children have cultural support plans, two-thirds reveal that they do not feel connected to their culture, suggesting a lack of quality planning.
- The Family Participation Program (FPP) achieved a sustained increase in kin placements by working with family to identify kin and then referring the family’s identified kin carer to a Foster and Kinship Care (FKC) service in their community. The FKC service then works with the family member and the Department to achieve provisional kin carer approval. However there is still a continued decrease in the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed with kin or other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers. This indicates that there are significant gaps in efforts to place children at higher levels of the placement hierarchy.