The Andrews Labor Government today kicked off the first Aboriginal Children’s Summit to drive urgent action to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in Victoria’s child protection system.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos opened and chaired the summit in partnership with Professor Muriel Bamblett, CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.
The two-day summit has brought together Aboriginal community leaders and experts involved in the delivery of child protection and out-of-home care services for Aboriginal children and young people.
It will focus on ways to reduce the number of Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care, build the foundations for stronger and healthier Aboriginal families, and keep the conversation going between the Government, Aboriginal communities and service providers.
Establishing the format, priorities and terms of reference for an ongoing Aboriginal Children’s Forum will also be a key task.
The forums will be held quarterly at different locations around the state to address issues facing Aboriginal children, young people and their families, and will reflect and respect Aboriginal self-determination.
Each one will be co-chaired by the chief executive officer of the local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation.
The Summit builds on the Labor Government’s $1.75 million investment in its first Budget to review placement prevention and diversionary services and to implement recommendations of the Taskforce 1000 project.
The Government also provided $43 million for Targeted Care Packages, with Aboriginal children and young people identified as a priority group, which offer flexible solutions to move children and young people out of residential care and into home-based care.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in our child protection system must be dealt with – for lasting change we need a community-led solution.”
“This summit brings together Aboriginal community leaders, experts and the Government, to drive significant change.”
“The Andrews Labor Government has boosted investment to tackle this issue, but these issues run deeper than money – they require community-led solutions from the ground up.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020