An independent report into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People in out-of-home care in NSW has been delivered to the NSW Government, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said.
Professor Megan Davis’ report, titled Family Is Culture, was commissioned in 2016 and makes 125 recommendations to the NSW Government based on a review of 1,144 children and young people who entered care in 2015-16.
“The report’s recommendations will be considered carefully and in their entirety,” Mr Ward said.
“The Department of Communities and Justice will work through the report and prepare preliminary advice in the first half of 2020 on the suggested way forward.
“Listening to Aboriginal communities does not stop here. It is an ongoing process and we’re committed to open and transparent communication with the sector.”
Since 2015, the NSW Government has implemented significant reforms to help keep Aboriginal families together, including:
- Evidence-based family preservation and restoration programs aimed at keeping families together, which are contributing to a reduction in the rate of children and young people entering out-of-home care;
- The Permanency Support Program, which provides tailored services to vulnerable Aboriginal children and young people enabling them to grow up in connected and culturally rich environments, with the support of their relatives, kin and community;
- The introduction of the Aboriginal Case Management Policy, which provides a framework for delivering casework services that are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal children, their families and communities
These programs contributed to a 35 per cent reduction in Aboriginal children and young people entering care since 2015-16.
To view the report, visit www.familyisculture.nsw.gov.au/media/independent-review-OOHC/
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