NSW Government called on to urgently reform child protection
The Family is Culture campaign is calling on the New South Wales Government to make urgent reforms to address the child protection system’s “disproportionate impact on Aboriginal children and their families”, noting that in NSW, 40 per cent of children living in out of home care are Aboriginal – a rate nearly 10 times higher than non Indigenous children.
A recent statement issued by a collective of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations asked the NSW Government to “make a significant financial commitment in the 2020/21 budget to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the child protection system”.
The funding, they noted, should be used to immediately implement the 125 recommendations for reform contained in the Family is Culture report, which was released in November 2019, detailing the experiences of 1,144 Aboriginal children who were removed from their families by the child protection system between July 2015 and June 2016.
The report’s 125 recommendations relate to self-determination, transparency, public accountability and oversight, improving early intervention and recognising the harm of removal.
So far, the Collective note, the NSW Government “has only committed to providing advice about their response by 30 June 2020. The collective believes this inaction is unacceptable, as based on current rates of removal, the seven month delay could see more than 400 Aboriginal children be taken from their families.”
A letter was sent to the NSW Premier, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, to demand “real action and real change” for the thousands of Aboriginal children and young people impacted by the NSW child protection system.
“The Government can no longer ignore the Family is Culture report. Continuing to do the same thing will not deliver the results needed for Aboriginal children and families in NSW,” a spokesperson said.
The Family is Culture collective includes:
- Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)
- ACWA / CCWT
- Community Legal Centres NSW
- Homelessness NSW
- NCOSS – NSW Council of Social Service
- Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre
- Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health and Community Services
- Riverina Medical & Dental Aboriginal Corporation
- Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre
- Woomera Aboriginal Corporation
- Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, UTS
- Lou’s Place
- Benevolent Society
- Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre
- Public Interest Advocacy Centre
- Sector Connect
- Women’s Legal Service NSW
More information about Family is Culture may be accessed here.
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