1 April 2015 | General Interest
In his role as Victorian Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, Andrew Jackomos is committed to reviewing every case of an Aboriginal child living in out-of-home care across the state.
The initiative is the primary component of Taskforce 1000, which was established by Mr Jackomos and the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) in response to the disproportionate number of Aboriginal children living in out-of-home-care.
The purpose of this taskforce is to assist in ensuring that Aboriginal children and young people who are in care in Victoria are safe, well, thriving and culturally strong.
When the taskforce was announced in 2014 there were approximately 1000 Aboriginal children and young people aged 0-17 years living in out-of-home care in Victoria. Mr Jackomos now estimates that figure could reach 1500 by June 2015.
“Those 1000 Aboriginal babies and children across the state are dispersed,” Mr Jackomos told The Age newspaper. “We should know each one of those children.”
Mr Jackomos said factors such as male-perpetrated family violence, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, were leading causes for the majority of cases of children in care.
“If we can address family violence we’ll make improvements on decreasing the numbers of kids in out-of-home care and the numbers of kids who grow up in youth justice and the adult prison system.”
Taskforce 1000 has already assessed 250 cases across the state, with “area panels” visiting several sites across Victoria, including Dandenong, Latrobe Valley, Mildura, Swan Hill, and Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Of the cases already assessed many had resulted in “better outcomes” for the children, with many children reconnecting with their families. By June of last year approximately 60 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care were living with kin.
For more information read The Age newspaper article on Taskforce 1000.