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.
- Tasmania continues to have limited alignment of legislative, policy and process frameworks to meet the full intent of the ATSICPP. Limited mechanisms to ensure Aboriginal participation in policy reform, decision-making, system and service design, or delivery has resulted in a child safety system that does not always meet the needs of Aboriginal children, their families, and communities.
- With limited emphasis on partnerships, there continues to be a lack of design, development and delivery of policy and programs in Tasmania by Aboriginal organisations. There remain no Department-established programs for Aboriginal organisations to participate in child safety decision-making, to lead in family participation through Family Group Conferencing (FGC), or to take up case management or guardianship powers and functions.
- There has been no identifiable significant progress by the Department to implement the Placement element of the ATSICPP during the reporting period, which is concerning given that Tasmania continues to have the lowest rate in the country of placing Aboriginal children with Aboriginal carers. There is also a lack of any other programs that are targeted to identify, recruit, and support Aboriginal kinship carers, noting that all other states and territories, except for the Australian Capital Territory, have Aboriginal kinship carer recruitment and support programs delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) in place, to varying degrees. Unless progress is made across policy or program areas that prioritise placement with kin or other Aboriginal carers, it is likely that Tasmania’s rate of children placed in accordance with the ATSICPP will remain the lowest in the nation.