23 November 2022

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people should grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.

Karen, Catherine and Claire standing together smiling in a board room.

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

The annual report highlights the ongoing dysfunction of the child protection system in responding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Claire Robbs, Life Without Barriers Chief Executive, said Life Without Barriers joins with SNAICC to call on governments and the sector to support and invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so the wellbeing, 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 stepping 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, Government and the sector so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginal controlled lead decisions that affect their children.” Said Ms Robbs.

Image: From left, Karen Mundine - CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Catherine Liddle - CEO of SNAICC, Claire Robbs - CE Life Without Barriers, Rob Ryan - Executive Lead, Life Without Barriers.

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

Media release: Family Matters Report launch 2022

Read the full report below.

Life Without Barriers partners with SNAICC for kids in out-of-home care

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

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