Launched at Parliament House in Canberra on 29th November, the Family Matters Report 2017 reveals facts about future prospects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families that should shock all Australians.
Data from the report shows that:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are now 9.8 times more likely to be living in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous children
- The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care will more than treble within 20 years unless urgent action is taken to put a stop to this trend
- From 2010 to 2018, the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in child death statistics has grown from a rate ratio of 1.84 to 2.23
- Across Australia, only 67% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care live with family, kin or other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers
- Only 2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children commenced receiving an intensive family support service in 2015-16, a rate well below their rate of contact with statutory child protection services
Taking these figures into account, it is unbelievable that only 17% of overall child protection funding across Australia is invested in support services for children and their families.
Speaking at the launch of the report, the Family Matters Co-Chair Natalie Lewis said, “Twenty years ago, the Bringing them Home report brought public and political awareness to the destructive impact of the Stolen Generations on communities, families and children – a historical pain that has caused trauma with lasting impacts. We cannot allow the history of trauma to devastate yet another generation of our children”.
The report compares the performance of child protection systems administered by each state and territory and highlights where some promising developments are occurring. This includes Queensland.
“What we really need is governments to resource our vision for a better future for our children,” Natalie Lewis said. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been forthcoming with solutions to these issues for many, many years. We need to work together now to prevent another generation of children growing up separated from their family, culture and connection to country.”
PeakCare urges our Members to print and plaster multiple copies of the snapshot report on your office walls and not remove them until the future prospects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families improve.
Click here to find out how YOU can support the Family Matters campaign. But don’t bother if ‘lip-service’ is all you intend contributing.