Strengthening Connections To Family And Community

A leading model of kinship care, helping to strengthen family and community connections for Aboriginal children is now operating across Victoria.

Attending the 13th Aboriginal Children’s Forum in Horsham today, Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan announced the new $2 million Aboriginal Kinship Finding Service is now taking referrals.

Its establishment will provide greater stability and more culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal children being placed in kinship care.

Kinship care is provided by relatives of a member of a child’s social network to children at risk who cannot live with their parents.

The new service – part of a package of measures for kinship carers – is supported by a $33.5 million investment and recognises the vital role that kinship carers play in caring for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable children.

The service includes the establishment of a genealogical database to support early kinship carer identification and connections to family, community and culture for Aboriginal children and young people involved with the Victorian child protection system.

The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency in partnership with the First Nations Legal and Research Services and the Koorie Heritage Trust have been selected to provide the service.

These new measures align with the Andrews Labor Government’s $168 million Roadmap for Reform, specifically improving home-based care and outcomes for children in out of home care.

In the Victorian Budget 2018-19, the Labor Government also committed $53.3 million to help Aboriginal children and families achieve self-determination and self-management for Aboriginal communities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan

“We’re closing the gap and empowering Aboriginal communities to help their children receive the best care according to their needs and background.”

“Connection to culture, community and Country is essential for Aboriginal kids and we’re making sure that Aboriginal children in care can remain healthy and receive culturally-safe support.”

“We’re implementing measures that strengthen kinship care across Victoria so that some of our most vulnerable children and their carers have the support they need to thrive at home and in the community.”