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Federal Budget 2022 has failed to keep pace with targets to close the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle welcomed the significant funding in tonight’s Budget to increase women and children’s safety.
“The $30 million to build and maintain links between the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children and the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Their Children will help protect at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people,” Ms Liddle said.
“The creation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Supports and the establishment of a National Advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People are particularly welcomed.”
“These are measures SNAICC has been advocating for some time.”
“Disappointingly though, there is a considerable shortfall in the commitment needed to meet the ambitious targets set out in the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.”
“There is agreement between all Governments and the Coalition of Peaks to reduce over-representation in out-of-home care by 45 per cent by 2031.”
“There is also agreement to increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children developmentally on track against all 5 domains of the Australian Early Development Census by 55%.
“Achieving these targets ensure our children get the best start in life and can thrive in their families and cultures.
“We can reduce the unacceptably high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children removed from families, too often ending up caught in the justice system.
“We can give our children a better start in life by making sure they have access to quality, community-controlled early childhood education and services.
“But this isn’t going to happen without a sustained effort to transform government service systems, including large scale new investments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-led solutions.
“Disappointingly we just aren’t seeing that effort in this Budget.
“Working in partnership with government we can turn this around and close the gap.”
Ms Liddle called on all candidates and parties running for election to commit to:
- Investment in prevention and early support services for families through a new national program for ACCO-led integrated family support services.
- Reforming the federal child care funding model to increase access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to culturally appropriate education and care.
- Establishing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood intermediaries in every state and territory in partnership with SNAICC to build the community-controlled early years sector.
- Planning and investment to build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce for child and family service delivery across the country.
- Long-term core funding to SNAICC – National Voice for our Children so we have certainty to continue as the national peak for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and to engage in shared decision-making with governments under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
About SNAICC – National Voice for our Children
SNAICC – National Voice for our Children is the national non-governmental peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. We work for the fulfilment of the rights of our children, in particular to ensure their safety, development and wellbeing.
Founded in 1981, SNAICC was established to engage in activities that promote and accommodate a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. Over the past 40 years, SNAICC’s efforts have driven achievements both in policy developments at state, territory and federal levels and in developing innovative and useful resources for the sector.