The Andrews Labor Government is partnering with the Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative (BDAC) to build stronger futures for Aboriginal children in care.
The local organisation becomes the second of its kind in Victoria to be part of the Australian-first Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program.
The $13.7 million initiative is a vital step forward in Aboriginal self-determination and gives approved Aboriginal organisations greater responsibility for the safety and protection of vulnerable children subject to Children’s Court protection orders.
With BDAC joining the program, more Aboriginal children and young people will be cared for by Aboriginal community services, meaning their support meets their cultural and community needs.
It means Aboriginal children will stay in their communities even if they are living in out-of-home care, and remain connected with family, culture and community.
BDAC will provide care and support for up to 36 children in the Dja Dja Wurrung area, and by 2020 it’s expected 216 Aboriginal children will be supported as part of the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program.
The program and pilots have been co-designed alongside Aboriginal agencies, the Commission for Children and Young People and Community Service Organisations.
Quote attributable to Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan
“We’re working closely with Aboriginal communities to make sure their kids get the best care, because all Aboriginal children and young people deserve a connection with their community and culture.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“This is part of our bold plans to make sure all Aboriginal children on protection orders and placed in out-of-home care with Aboriginal organisations.”
Quotes attributable to Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative CEO Raylene Harradine
“Full authorisation of Mutjang Bupuwingarrak Mukman is not just a significant achievement for our community, but for all Australia.”
“We have seen transformational changes for our families. Our children are remaining connected to family and their culture through full authorisation.”