The Andrews Labor Government is partnering with Aboriginal community controlled organisations and communities to reduce the number of Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced an investment of $2.82 million over two years to fund the initiatives at the Aboriginal Children’s Forum today.
The initiatives respond directly to calls from the sector and community to empower Aboriginal community controlled organisations to lead in the delivery of services and supports for Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care.
The initiatives include:
- $880,000 for a transition team that will develop and implement a strategy to transition support services for Aboriginal children and young people who are involved with child protection to Aboriginal organisations.
- $500,000 to improve access to Targeted Care Packages for Aboriginal children and young people.
- $340,000 Return to Country program to help Aboriginal children in care stay connected to their culture.
- $220,000 to provide more support to Aboriginal children and young people leaving care.
- $880,000 for the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency to continue delivery of Section 18 services, which provides for legal guardianship for Aboriginal children subject to a Children’s Court protection order.
This funding is in addition to a $16.5 million investment in the Victorian Budget 2016–17 to support vulnerable Aboriginal children and their families.
The initiatives support implementation of the Roadmap for Reform, the Labor Government’s once in a generation overhaul of the child protection and family services system and includes a commitment to Aboriginal self-determination around decision-making and care for vulnerable Aboriginal children and young people.
The Aboriginal Children’s Forum is held quarterly by the government to address issues facing Aboriginal children, young people and their families.
Each forum is co-chaired by the Ms Mikakos and a chief executive officer of a local Aboriginal community controlled organisation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We want Aboriginal children to feel safe and strong in their families and homes and we are proud to be working in partnership with Victorian Aboriginal community controlled organisations to make that happen.”
“This announcement deepens our commitment to addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in our out-of-home care system. This is a complex and challenging issue but we are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of these children.”
“Through Roadmap for Reform we will continue to build a culturally safe system that supports and nurtures all children and young people.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020