Aboriginal Child Safety and Wellbeing Reform Forum to develop roadmap
The Aboriginal Child Safety and Wellbeing Reform Forum will bring together key stakeholders, leaders and community representatives over two days in Sydney in a landmark step towards reshaping the future for Aboriginal children and young people in New South Wales.
The collective determination to improve the lives of Aboriginal children and families has prompted the state’s peak Aboriginal child welfare organisation, AbSec, and the NSW Government to collaborate on this pivotal forum.
“We must reimagine the child protection system, so we can build a brighter future for Aboriginal children. The only way we can do that is through genuine co-design and partnership with Aboriginal people, families, and communities,” said Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Inclusion Kate Washington.
The two-day forum will develop a strong roadmap for reform to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care, focus on the wellbeing of Aboriginal families and their children, and put Aboriginal families in control of their future.
First Nations communities have long faced disparities in child protection outcomes due to complex and interconnected factors. This forum recognises the significance of these challenges and stands as a platform to confront them collaboratively.
The forum’s agenda is designed to foster dynamic and inclusive discussions, providing participants with the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking sessions led by respected experts in the field. The sessions will span a wide spectrum, from data-sharing between agencies to panel discussions on the barriers and opportunities for reform.
“I’m hopeful that our forum will be a significant step towards a more equitable future for Aboriginal children. We are dedicated to co-creating a legacy of progress and positive outcomes,” Ms Washington added.
The forum marks an essential juncture in the design and implementation of a child protection system that not only ensures the safety and wellbeing of every child but also respects and integrates the cultural heritage and lived experience of Aboriginal communities.
“We know that far too many Aboriginal children are in out-of-home care in NSW. This continues the intergenerational trauma associated with the disconnection from Country, culture and kin,” said Minister for Aboriginal Affairs David Harris.
“I look forward to this forum highlighting improvements that can be made to the child protection system, placing Aboriginal families and culture at the heart of policies for the best outcomes for Aboriginal children.”
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