SNAICC calls for systemic change during Child Protection Week
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are overrepresented in the out-of-home care system, advocacy body SNAICC has said, calling on the government to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services and communities as being key to reducing the number of children in the system.
Statistics show that in 2020, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children made up 41 per cent of children in out-of-home care in Australia despite being only 5.9 per cent of Australia’s child population, something SNAICC termed alarming.
“Our children are 11 times more likely to be living away from their parents than non-Indigenous children,” SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said.
“If this continues at the current trajectory, the number of our children in out-of-home care will double by 2030.
SNAICC’s call came as Australia concludes National Child Protection Week, which ends on Saturday September 11.
“It is time for change. It’s time to be bold in our thinking, and our planning, so together we can transform the system.”
Ms Liddle called on governments to ensure that funding is channelled to Aboriginal community-controlled services, “as the experts in keeping our children and families connected to culture and delivering culturally-safe child- and family-centred support programs.”
“As a new 10-year framework for protecting Australia’s children is being developed, now is the time to prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to ensure we close the gap in the over-representation of our children in out-of-home care.”
SNAICC asked state and commonwealth governments to “work with us to ensure the new National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children aligns with the historic National Agreement on Closing the Gap and upholds commitment to the priority reforms”.
Target 12 of the agreement commits to reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent by 2031.
To learn more about the work undertaken by SNAICC, see here.