The Family Matters campaign calls for stronger leadership from the federal government and immediate action to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home-care.
On Tuesday, the federal government tabled their response in the Senate, answering to recommendations from the Community Affairs Reference Committee. Recommendations to the Committee called for comprehensive action by the federal government on early intervention and critical improvements to child protection – of which have been largely ignored.
The federal government has a responsibility to ensure Aboriginal children remain connected to their families, community and culture. We need to resource good practice and solutions put forward by Aboriginal people.”
“The commitment to adopt the broadened definition of the child placement principle is welcomed. The elements of the principle are interrelated and interdependent, failing to address these collectively undermines the principle’s intent.”
– Natalie Lewis, Family Matters campaign co-chair
As hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates attend the biennial SNAICC conference this week in Canberra listening to leaders and workers talk best policy and best practice, the announcement of the government’s response is a great disappointment.
We call for appropriate resourcing to prevention and early intervention programming. The failure to commit to these necessary services for families experiencing vulnerability, compromises the validity of government’s commitment.
“We commend the federal government’s call to improve the representation of our families and communities in decision-making processes, but we want adequate and appropriate resourcing for our organisations to deliver front-line services to our communities.
“Without this type of investment, leadership and our communities taking the lead, we will see the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care triple by 2035.”
– Ms Lewis