The crisis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being over-represented in the child protection systems continues to escalate at an alarming rate, reveals The Family Matters Report 2019
The report also shows a growing trend towards permanent placement away from their families and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to experience high levels of disadvantage.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 37.3% of the total out-of-home care population, including foster care, but only 5.5%of the total population of children. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are now 10.2 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children.
If we do not change our course of action the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care will more than double in the next 10 years,” says Family Matters Co-Chair Richard Weston.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are seven times more likely to be on a permanent care order until 18 years. They are at serious risk of permanent separation from their families, cultures and communities.
“The trauma associated with child removal is intergenerational. It affects a person’s functioning in the world, has an adverse impact on family relationships and creates vulnerability in families.
“Healing is an important part of reclaiming the resilience we need to deal with life’s challenges and address the burden of trauma in our communities,”
– Richard Weston, Family Matters Co-Chair
The decreasing rate of placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with Indigenous carers dropped from 49.4% to 45% in a year and has declined from 65.3% in 2006.
The Family Matters Report 2019 also reveals poverty and homelessness has a profound impact on children being removed from their home. Nearly one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are living below the poverty line. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander householders are almost twice as likely to experience rental stress.
SOURCE: SNAICC. (2019)”The Family Matters Report* 2019.”
*The Family Matters Report is a collaborative effort of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children,
the Family Matters campaign, Griffith University,University of Melbourne and Monash University.
Family Matters is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children grow up safe and cared for surrounded bytheir own family, community and culture.
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia