SNAICC is currently undertaking work to promote the important role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in decision-making for their children. In December 2012, SNAICC released a framework that describes elements of a human-rights based understanding of what genuine participation in child protection decision-making requires.
Throughout 2012-13 SNAICC undertook research analysing current legal, policy and systems effectiveness in enabling the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in decisions made for their children. In August 2013, SNAICC released a report of the research, entitled, Whose voice counts? The report captures the perspectives of services and practice leaders that support and advise government departments and courts in child protection cases. It describes the value and influence of cultural input in promoting decision-making in the best interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The advocacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations has driven increasing recognition of the importance of independent, representative participation in child protection decision-making. However, SNAICC research highlights significant resourcing and accountability gaps that are limiting genuine participation.
The research identifies reforms needed to ensure the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities count when decisions are made for their kids. It proposes stronger models of cultural advice and support, as well as delegation and transfer of decision-making authority as potential solutions. SNAICC will continue to advocate for the strengthening of child protection systems to support self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Genuine Participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Child Protection Decision-making for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children A Human Rights Framework – SNAICC Report December 201s [PDF]
For more information on SNAICC’s work to promote genuine participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in child protection decisions, contact John Burton: [email protected].