The rising tide of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children removed from their families continues at an alarming rate, with the majority of those children permanently separated from their parents.
Our children are 9.7 times more likely to be living away from their families than non-Indigenous children, an over-representation that has increased consistently over the last 10 years. It is time to completely change this broken system that is not working for our kids.”
Sue-Anne Hunter, Family Matters Chair
The Family Matters Report 2020, launched on Monday 16 November, reveals that our children continue to be removed from family and kin at disproportionate rates – disrupting their connection to community and culture.
Watch the full report launch below
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children represent 37% of the total population of all children that have been removed from their parents – a staggering 20,077 children – but represent only 6% of the total population of children in Australia.
Without urgent action, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is projected to double by 2029.
The report reveals a concerning trend towards permanent placement and a rise in adoptions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
A worrying 81% (16,287) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care are living permanently away from their birth parents until the age of 18 years.
In 2018-19, there were 19 adoptions. Of these, 95% of adoptions of our children have been to non-Indigenous carers, and all occurred in New South Wales and Victoria.
The report highlights states and territories that are leading the way to enable self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in child protection including through family-led decision-making programs and the delegation of child protection services to Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.
Read the full media release 16 November 2020 – Report 2020 reveals Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to be separated from families and culture at an alarming rate
Responses by communities and governments by state and territories
The Family Matters 2020 report launch
Family Matters in conversation with the Aboriginal children’s commissioners