2 February 2023
Life Without Barriers commends the Federal and State Governments on launching the first Action Plans under Safe and Supported: The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2021-2031).
The announcement commits to prevention and early intervention support for children and families, agrees to a national approach for a sustainable workforce, invests in the First Nations Community Controlled Sector and supports First Nations people and communities to exercise authority in family support services and child protection.
Claire Robbs, Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers, said she is encouraged by the announcement that puts the voices of children at the centre of policymaking.
“It is very encouraging to see that this plan has been developed in conjunction with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, industry, young people and families, First Nations leaders and communities and the non-government sector,” Ms Robbs said.
“The over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the out-of-home care system is extreme."
"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being removed from their families at historic levels, and we need to employ transformative and innovative initiatives to see real systematic change for children and families in Australia.
“I also want to commend SNAICC – National Voice of our Children (SNAICC) for their tireless work and actions in developing this framework with the aim to reduce the number of First Nations children in out-of-home care.
"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 will continue to work in partnership with SNAICC, Government and the sector so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginal-controlled organisations lead decisions that affect their children.” Ms Robbs said.
The Australian Government has committed a $30 million package in the 2022-23 Budget for five initiatives to support this program.
Life Without Barriers has partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities for twenty-five years through the provision of services Australia-wide. Life Without Barriers is committed to the Closing the Gap Campaign which reinforces the need for large-scale systemic reform, and a paradigm shift in Australia’s approach to truly empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Life Without Barriers' Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan outlines the organisation’s next three years of commitments to contributions towards Reconciliation across Australia.
Life Without Barriers is committed to the National Closing the Gap strategy, including Target 12, to 'reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45% in 2031'. As such, Life Without Barriers has partnered with SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and will progressively step away from providing out-of-home care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by 2031.