The Andrews Labor Government is taking the next step in handing over the responsibility and decision making for Aboriginal children placed in care from Child Protection to Aboriginal-run organisations.
Speaking at the Aboriginal Children’s Forum in Traralgon today, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced $1.1 million for Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to case manage 120 Aboriginal children living in kinship care.
By managing these cases, the organisations will be responsible for implementing the child’s case plan and working with children and families to achieve the agreed tasks and goals to address protective concerns.
The Labor Government is working towards transferring Aboriginal children placed in out-of-home care by the Department of Health and Human services and non-Aboriginal agencies to Aboriginal organisations.
This funding will assist in the first stage of this transition, which is aimed at transferring 30 per cent of all Aboriginal children on protection orders to Aboriginal organisations by December 2017.
By working in partnership with Aboriginal organisations, the Government is addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care by helping improve their health, wellbeing and cultural connections.
The initiative supports the Government’s $168 million Roadmap for Reform to give Aboriginal people responsibility for the care and decision-making of Aboriginal children and families.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 has provided nearly 2000 extra home based out-of-home care placements and 100 extra targeted care packages to reduce the number of children and young people living in residential care.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This is about closing the gap by empowering Aboriginal communities to help their children receive the care they need.”
“We know how important connection to culture is and we are making sure that these organisations ensure children remain healthy, safe and connected to their land and culture.”