The key word is ‘ACTION’ for Safe and Supported children and young people

In my National Child Protection Week blog last September, I asked how we could best work together to reduce the impact of abuse and neglect, and ensure kids in care and detention can thrive – so that they can “grow up safe and supported”.  

Many of you will have recognised that last phrase, as it reflects the national reference point, Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021 – 2031.

Safe and Supported sets out a framework to make sure that children grow up safe and connected to their family, community and culture. The framework identifies four priority groups, including First Nations children and young people, and children and young people in care.

In an important new initiative, Federal Ministers Amanda Rishworth and Linda Burney yesterday launched the First Action Plan under the framework, complemented by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan. Each plans sets out eight actions through which governments (including South Australia) will work in partnership with Community leaders, and in consultation with the non‑government sector, to reduce the rate of child abuse and neglect, and its generational impacts.

Central to the action plans are recognition of the need to consider the unique rights, strengths and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan aims to support a holistic and coordinated response to achieving Closing the Gap targets, including the goal of reducing the rate of over‑representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids in out-of-home care by 45% by 2031 (Target 12).

Key actions under the plans include:  

      • Investment in the First Nations Community Controlled sector

      • Improved funding for early, targeted and culturally safe supports

      • Supporting First Nations self-determination, through delegating decision-making authority under child protection laws to First Nations communities

      • Full implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, to the standard of active efforts

      • Improving lifetime outcomes for children and young people in care, through strategies that support access to universal services

      • Establishing a national coordinated data and research approach, embedding principles of data sovereignty for First Nations communities

      • Improving the availability and quality of legal support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families engaged with child protection systems

      • Designing the role of a National Advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People, in consultation with First Nations communities.  

    Detailed outcomes are identified within a ten-year timeframe.  I look forward to being involved with relevant developments as they progress.    

    Read more details about the first action plans.

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