Victoria has been named a leading state in Australia for addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in a national report released today.
The Family Matters report measured trends to turn the tide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child safety and removal. It is a collaboration between SNAICC National Voice for Our Children, the University of Melbourne, the Centre for Evidence and Implementation and Save the Children Australia.
It found Victoria is a leading state in all areas, having made significant strides to improve the safety and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and reduce their over-representation in out-of-home care.
Importantly, the report highlights a system that requires urgent focus, and a growing need for the Commonwealth, states and territories to agree on a national strategy for change.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins today signed a statement of intent for a national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children grow up safe and cared for.
This statement aligns with the Government’s significant efforts to improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people in, or at risk of entering, out-of-home care.
The Government will provide a $32.3 million investment into a new intensive early childhood support service.
Earlier this year, the Government’s ambitious $168 million Roadmap for Reform was introduced to shift the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.
It includes major investments in support services for vulnerable families, extra child protection workers, culturally sensitive support for Aboriginal children, and more foster and kinship carers, including Aboriginal carers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This report confirms the Andrews Labor Government is taking important steps, but more work needs to be done.”
“We support a national strategy to fix the unacceptable over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care and I call on the Commonwealth to support the states in this effort.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“Maintaining children’s connection to culture is absolutely essential for Aboriginal children and young people, and we know more must be done to help every individual.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020