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
Our work advances the strategy developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS) through the Indigenous Child Protection Project, to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the NSW child protection system.
Through consultation with state-wide and regional Aboriginal organisations, PIAC and the ALS identified several priority areas requiring systemic change 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.
- Adoption and guardianship – increasing transparency around the NSW government’s approach to adoption and guardianship of Aboriginal children, and advocating for the implementation of the Family Is Culture Review recommendations.
- Housing – improving consistency between housing and child protection policies to ensure that families at risk can access appropriate housing.
PIAC’s work is focused on making change in these priority areas, in collaboration with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.
We acknowledge the generous support of the BB & A Miller Foundation for PIAC’s work on child protection.