On National Sorry Day, we acknowledge and pay our respects to the Stolen Generations. The systemic removal of our children caused us intolerable pain and continues to impact our families and communities today.
Twenty-four years after the Bringing Them Home report the legacy of child removal continues for our people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are removed and living away from home at an alarming 11 times the rate of non-Indigenous children.
The Bringing Them Home report is a reminder of the deep and lasting damage caused by breaking our families apart. It described the need to transform systems to change this storyline for our children – but many of its recommendations have not been implemented,” said SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle.
“Supports are needed to address the drivers of child protection intervention. But, as it stands today, the child protection system is heavily weighted towards separation over prevention and early intervention.
“Only 16% of the $6.9 billion investment in child protection systems goes to family support and intensive family support services that aim to prevent child removal.”
SNAICC leads the Family Matters campaign to end the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care.
In June 2020, only 42.2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care were living with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers.
Ms Liddle said,
“We need to recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the experts in providing culturally responsive services to our children and families.
“Governments must invest more in our community-led healing and support programs that respond to trauma for children, families and communities.
“To secure the rights and futures of our children, we must heal the past – not continue to separate children from their community, culture and kin.”– Catherine Liddle, SNAICC CEO
SNAICC has undertaken consultations to inform the development of the 10-year successor plan for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children. This plan will include a dedicated focus and targeted strategies for responding to the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.
Media release 26 May 2021: National Sorry Day: A reminder that our systems must be transformed if we are to stop the trajectory of child removal