Adelaide, Australia: SNAICC joins the Law Society of SA, Anglicare SA and the SA Council of Social Service in the voicing of their concerns about the proposed new child protection laws – Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2016 (the Bill).
SNAICC is disappointed that the Bill does not go far enough to implement the recommendations of the Nyland Report (Royal Commission Report) including that it fails to include measures to address the rising over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care.
Unfortunately there appears to have been a lack of genuine consultation in the creation of these proposed laws, which does not reflect the government’s stated commitment to consultation, partnership and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination.
SNAICC Chairperson, and CEO of South Australia’s Aboriginal Family Support Services, Sharron Williams expresses regret at the governments lack of preparedness to put children at the centre of child protection laws, commenting:
The government has been provided an invaluable opportunity to get this Bill right, however, thus far they have failed to capitalise on it.”
– Sharron Williams, SNAICC Chairperson
In particular SNAICC is very concerned about the lack of focus on prevention and early intervention; the narrow and incorrect construction of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child placement principle, including the removal of requirement to consult with Aboriginal agencies in relation to decision-making; and the inclusion of permanency measures that hasten path to legal permanence without properly safeguarding the holistic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. All of which were outlined in SNAICC’s recent submission.
Overall we are extremely disappointed that limited effort has been made to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decision-making mechanisms – for both individuals and organisations – and believe the proposed laws, as they stand, will only contribute further to Indigenous disadvantage.”
– Sharron Williams