New plan to tackle high number of First Nations children in care
Published Wednesday, 27 September, 2023 at 01:40 PM
Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Seniors and Disability Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford
- New action plan aims to further improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families known to the child protection system.
- The Our Way strategy outlines a framework for eliminating the disproportionate representation of First Nations children in the child protection system in Queensland.
Aboriginal organisations will be given more control over children in the state’s child protection system in a multi-million dollar plan aimed at reducing the numbers of First Nations children in care.
More help to keep families together and more kinship carers are also key elements of Breaking Cycles: An action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families 2023–2025, launched today by Child Safety Minister Craig Crawford.
In partnership with Family Matters Queensland and the Queensland First Children and Families Board, the plan comprises:
- expanding delegated authority across the state, where Aboriginal organisations will be given more control over children in the child protection system, with funding of about $108m over 4 years
- more funding for services provided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations including Family Wellbeing Services ($26.560m over 4 years and $10.298m ongoing to expand it) and the Family Participation Program ($22.464m over 4 years and $9.711m ongoing), and
- trialling Family Caring for Family, in partnership with the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak, to increase the number of First Nations children placed with family and/or kin ($1.9m over two years).
Breaking Cycles 2023-2025 is the third action plan under the Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families 2017-2037.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Child Safety Craig Crawford:
“That’s unacceptable, and that’s why we are prioritising and investing in prevention and early intervention to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are best placed to make decisions, design and deliver services that meet the needs of their children, families and communities, and that’s what we are working towards.”
Quotes attributable to co-chair of Family Matters Queensland Aunty Rachel Atkinson:
“The Our Way strategy is an opportunity for us as First Nations people to reimagine the system, and for us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations and people to have the authority to make decisions for our children and families. This is what is at the heart of Our Way.
“To achieve this, we need community-led approaches to maintaining the safety of children in community with the resources to do so at critical pathways.”
Quotes attributable to co-chair of Family Matters Queensland Michael Currie:
“Putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in control over decisions which affect their children and families is the only way we will see positive changes in life outcomes.
“If we continue to support and leverage the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, we will achieve the desired outcomes.”
Quotes attributable to Garth Morgan CEO QATSICPP:
“Meaningful systems change can only happen when government departments truly listen and act on the solutions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have continued to call for.
“If we can work together to do this, it will see us turn the tide on over-representation of our children in child protection systems.”
Explainer/fast fact and or further information:
The Our Way strategy was released in 2017 and has resulted in positive changes in the child protection system, with Queensland now leading the nation as the first jurisdiction to adopt a generational strategy.
Media contact: Peter Michael 0477 948 091