SNAICC says children need to be front and centre in new Government’s decision making
SNAICC- National Voice for our Children has called on all major parties in the upcoming Federal election to commit to actions that create a better start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The advocacy body sent election priorities to all major parties, with the responses to be used to inform a snapshot of where each party stands on key policies impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
Substantial policy change will be crucial in order for the incoming Government to make headway on new Closing the Gap targets, SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said.
“Under the National Partnership all Governments have agreed to work with the Coalition of Peaks to reduce over-representation in out of home care by 45 per cent by 2031,” she explained.
“There is also agreement to increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children developmentally on track against all 5 domains of the Australian Early Development Census by 55 per cent.
When and if those targets are met, a reduction in the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children removed from families will result, she continued, and First Nations children will have “a better start in life with access to quality, community-controlled early childhood education and services.”
“But this isn’t going to happen without committed efforts to reform government service systems, invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-led solutions and change policies that work against our children and families.”
SNAICC is asking major parties to demonstrate their commitments to:
- Investing in prevention and early support services for families through a new national program for ACCO-led integrated family support services.
- Legislating to give authority to a National Commissioner (Advocate) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.
- Reforming the federal child care funding model to increase access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to culturally appropriate education and care.
- Establishing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood intermediaries in every state and territory in partnership with SNAICC to build the community-controlled early years sector.
- Planning and investment to build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce for child and family service delivery across the country
- Long-term core funding to SNAICC to give future certainty as the national peak for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and to engage in shared decision-making with governments under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
“Supporting our children to reach their full potential is an investment in the social and economic future of our country, a commitment all parties should be making going into this election,” Ms Liddle said in closing.
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