Aboriginal children and young people will receive more culturally supportive care thanks to a funding boost that will grow the number of children being directly supported by Aboriginal organisations.
At today’s Aboriginal Children’s Forum in Torquay, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced $2.2 million funding for 10 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) across Victoria.
The funding will support Aboriginal children to safely remain with their families, return home, or for those who must remain in care, provide the best possible support to those carers.
Eighty eight Aboriginal children and young people, and their kinship carers, will benefit from this initiative.
There are currently more than 1700 Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care – almost 20 per cent of the total number.
The funding is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s work to support Aboriginal self-determination, and recognises that Aboriginal organisations are best placed to understand the unique needs of Aboriginal children and young people.
In Victoria’s south, the nominated ACCOs will focus on reunification as they co-design and test an alternative model of kinship care support.
This is part of the Labor Government’s efforts to create better lives for vulnerable Victorian children, young people and their families in the $168 million Roadmap for Reform policy.
The Roadmap is strengthening home-based care to ensure that foster and kinship carers – including Aboriginal carers - receive the support needed so children in their care can achieve the best possible outcomes.
Agencies that will deliver the kinship care case contracting program are:
- West: Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation and Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative
- South: VACCA and Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative (GEGAC)
- North: Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative, Mallee District Aboriginal Service and Njernda Aboriginal Corporation
- East: Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative, VACCA and Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation in partnership with Upper Murray Family Care.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Connection to culture, community and Country is fundamental to supporting the safety and identity of an Aboriginal child.”
“We’re working to support Aboriginal children and families by helping Aboriginal kinship carers provide the best care – and reunify families wherever possible.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020