As part of SNAICC’s consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and stakeholders during the coronavirus pandemic, in October/November 2020, we conducted an online survey with child and family sector organisations to gain further insight into the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19.
The responses documented in our new Ongoing Impacts Survey Report confirm that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.
The survey highlights the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, identifying several domains that have been significantly impacted. The technological divide is a further concern, with less access to technology particularly evident in remote areas where Internet access is not always available.
There were also specific findings related to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services: the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated weakness within the ECEC system, and the survey results support earlier findings that the ECEC system needs reform in a way that can sustainably address the unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
The survey also reveals the types of supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families require for short- and long-term recovery from the pandemic.
The survey results will contribute to SNAICC’s ongoing work to respond to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and may also be used in SNAICC’s advice to governments on supports and responses needed, including through implementation of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.