23 November 2022

Life Without Barriers welcomes the Family Matters Report 2022, released by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and supports its fifteen recommendations to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the child protection system.

Family Matters is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. The annual report highlights the ongoing dysfunction of the child protection system in responding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Life Without Barriers Chief Executive, Claire Robbs said Life Without Barriers joins with SNAICC – Voice of Our Children to call on governments and the sector to support and invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so the well-being, development, and safety responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are led by community controlled organisations.

“This report states very clearly what the data has proven for many years – children are being removed from their families at historic levels. The situation is dire and substantial transformation of child protection systems is required to alter the extreme over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care,” Ms Robbs said.

“It is deeply distressing that target 12 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45% by 2031 remains significantly off track.

“Life Without Barriers has partnered with SNAICC to commit to progressively step away from providing out-of-home care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

We support all fifteen recommendations and our Reconciliation Action Plan affirms our commitment for our own practice to be directly guided by the recommendations of the report and the Family Matters campaign principles. We encourage all child welfare agencies to do the same.

“We will continue to work in partnership with SNAICC- Voice for our children, Government and the sector so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginal-controlled organisations lead decisions that affect their children.”

The Family Matters campaign is supported by a Strategic Alliance of over 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations.

To find out more about the report and its recommendations, visit snaicc.org.au

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