SNAICC calls on governments to commit to supporting First Nations children and families
SNAICC, the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, has released a statement acknowledging the 13th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and highlighting the ongoing incidence of child removals has risen to record highs.
CEO Catherine Liddle said “In 2008, the Australian government finally said sorry for unjustly removing generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families – breaking up families and communities and leaving a legacy of intergenerational trauma for our peoples.”
“The Apology was only the first step in truth telling for our nation. Failures to adequately incorporate First Nations perspectives into policy and to support healing for families continue to impact our communities. Our children are still being removed from their families at alarming rates.
The statement highlights that figures released in January 2021 reveal that 18,862 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were living in out-of-home care at 30 June 2020 (an increase of 53% over the last 10 years) and that this number does not include many children on permanent care orders or those that have been adopted.
The Family Matters Report 2020 highlights that based on 2018-19 figures, 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.
“It has been 13 years since the apology, yet every year the number is rising, and every year we do not see the systemic change required to reduce these numbers. The current child protection system is not working,” says Co-Chair for the Family Matters campaign, Sue-Anne Hunter.
“It is essential we have a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s commissioner that holds all levels of government to account so that our children are supported on their healing journey.”
To learn more about The Family Matters Campaign please click here.