14 September 2021

Historic commitment to transfer out-of-home care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Image: A photo of a teenage girl holding a toddler. They are both wearing black and red tops. Image via SNAICC.

SNAICC and Life Without Barriers are pleased to announce a new partnership that follows a historic commitment from Life Without Barriers, to transfer its out-of-home care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-control within 10 years.

“This partnership heralds a new beginning for Aboriginal community-controlled organisations that serves to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decision-making,” SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said.

“In line with commitments through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, this initiative marks the first of its kind in enabling Aboriginal-led services to have the resources it needs to deliver culturally and locally appropriate services to our children and families,” Ms Liddle said.

With more than 20,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, significant steps are required to reach the Closing the Gap target of reducing the over-representation of our children in out-of-home care to 45% by 2031. Currently this target is not on track to be met.

“As we observe the distressing rates of Aboriginal children entering care, our organisation and Board are clear that we must make this commitment to children and their families if we are ever to realise giant steps towards Reconciliation. We are grateful to our partnership with SNAICC and First Nations peoples to understand the most effective way we strengthen families to stay together with their children,” Claire Robbs Life Without Barriers Chief Executive said.

“Through our upcoming Reconciliation Action Plan, we are committed to be responsive and courageous so that self-determination can flourish. The need for courage is most evident in the deeply troubling over-representation of First Nations children in the child protection system,” Natalie Walker, Director, Life Without Barriers Board.


SNAICC is the national non-governmental peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. We work for the fulfilment of the rights of our children, in particular to ensure their safety, development and wellbeing.

Founded in 1981, SNAICC was established to engage in activities that promote and accommodate a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. Over the past 40 years SNAICC’s efforts has resulted in many key milestones and achievements both in policy developments at state, territory and federal levels and in developing innovative and useful resources for the sector.

“We look forward to working with Life Without Barriers to keep our children at front and centre of decision-making.” Catherine Liddle.

For more information, please visit www.snaicc.org.au and www.familymatters.org.au

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