The Indigenous Child Protection Project

Photo: Flickr/ Victor Galitskye

The Indigenous Child Protection Project (ICPP) is a partnership between PIAC and the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS) which aims to bring about practical changes to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the NSW child protection system.

The need for urgent action

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over 10 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be in out of home care in NSW. On current trends, Family Matters projects that the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care nationally will more than double in the next 10 years.

Over 20 years since the Bringing Them Home report into the Stolen Generations, these alarming statistics sound an urgent call to action.

How we are working to achieve change

The ICPP combines the ALS’s years of experience representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in care and protection proceedings with PIAC’s expertise in strategic litigation and policy advocacy.

Through consultation with state-wide and regional Indigenous organisations, PIAC and the ALS have developed a strategy to achieve change, focusing on a number of key priority areas including:

  • Early support for families – strengthening the obligation on the Department to support families and prevent the removal of children.
  • Permanency of culture – ensuring that connection to culture is recognised as integral to the wellbeing and best interest of Aboriginal children, particularly in court proceedings.
  • Housing – improving consistency between housing and child protection policies to ensure that families at risk can access appropriate housing.

The next stage of the ICPP aims to achieve change in these areas through using a combination of law reform, policy advocacy and strategic litigation.

We acknowledge the generous support of the BB & A Miller Foundation for the Indigenous Child Protection Project.

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