3 February 2015 | General Interest
In response to the ROGS, Victoria’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, Andrew Jackomos, has called for immediate action to halt the alarming rise of Indigenous children in Victoria being placed in protective care.
The report shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Victoria who had been removed and were living away from their immediate family homes had risen by 42 per cent from 30 June 2013 to 30 June 2014.
“Koori babies and children are now placed in care away from their homes 12 times more often than other Victorian children,” Commissioner Jackomos said.
“We should be deeply troubled by this. We know the best care is supported care at home, and kids thrive best in their own homes. We also know that Koori children in care are more likely to be sexually abused and that many are on a pathway to the youth justice and the criminal justice system.”
More information is available in Mr Jackomos’s media release.
In an open letter on 3 February, Mr Jackomos predicted there would be 1,500 children in out-of-home in Victoria by July 2015, and for many of these children their placement in protective care would have a negative impact on their lives.
“Children with out-of-home care experiences or currently in care make up a significant number of children in youth justice. These children are commonly disengaged from education and many go on to have contact with the criminal justice system and later incarceration,” Mr Jackomos wrote.
He called for the development of a state-wide strategic response to improving the lives of vulnerable Aboriginal babies, children and young people.
“A strategy based on the principles of transparency, accountability, honesty and the recognition of the role [of] the Aboriginal community is critical in the development and implementation of policies and programs to improve the lives of Aboriginal children,” Mr Jackomos wrote.
Further details can be found in Mr Jackomos’s open letter.