On National Close the Gap Day, SNAICC continues our call for governments to invest in strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that put First Nations children and families front and centre.
As outlined in the Closing the Gap 2021 campaign report Leadership and legacy through crises: keeping our mob safe, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are best placed to care for our communities.
“The response to COVID-19 by the First Nations community-controlled sector highlighted to the broader community the effectiveness of Indigenous-led solutions and practice,” says SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle.
“This is something that is known to our communities and has been evidenced for a very long time. Yet investment into this sector to do this work remains a challenge.
“The National Agreement on Closing the Gap offers an opportunity to redress this. But it requires a genuine partnership that recognises the findings in today’s report.
“To invest in our children’s future, we must remove the barriers that impact their early years, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children that is ensuring they are in an environment that is culturally-safe that offers wraparound support for our families.”
As a member of the Coalition of Peaks with more than 50 other peak organisations, SNAICC commends the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, but there is still a lot of hard work to do.
As reflected in the Close the Gap campaign report, and as The Family Matters Report 2020 highlights, the number of our children in out-of-home care continues to rise.
SNAICC is working closely with governments to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are at the forefront of the Closing the Gap shared decision-making process.
By consulting with communities across the nation to inform the 10-year successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, we are working towards turning the tide on the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45% by 2031 – a new Closing the Gap target.
Another new target is set to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are developmentally on track against the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) to 55% by 2031, which is currently at 35%.
By investing in Aboriginal-led early childhood education and care, we are setting the path for our children to have the best start in life.
Media release 18 March 2021 – Aboriginal-led solutions to close the gap for First Nations children and families