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A report released today by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children demonstrates that resourced and supported Aboriginal community-controlled services are critical in reducing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children going into child protection.
Stronger ACCOs, Stronger Families was commissioned by the Department of Social Services under its Closing the Gap implementation plan.
SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said a funding model for Aboriginal community-controlled organizations (ACCOs) would ensure children and families had access to culturally safe services and supports, reducing the risk of coming into contact with child protection.
“ACCO’s have a model of care that is founded in culture. They provide services to children and families that are embedded in culture and work with family and community to the strengthen the layers of support around a child,” said Ms Liddle.
“What we hear from our families is that Aboriginal community-controlled services are trusted and non-judgemental. Families feel safe when they walk into centres and engage with the services.
“When families feel safe, they share information more freely, feel more confident accessing the supports they need, and engage with services earlier, giving more opportunities for early intervention and prevention, reducing the risk of families coming into contact with child protection services.”
“The Stronger ACCOs, Stronger Families report finds that current funding models undervalue culture and do not reflect the critical wrap-around supports our organisations deliver to ensure our children are safe.
“Funding models favour large organisations that have more resources to apply for grants and funding. This competitive environment excludes our organisations from funding opportunities.
“Allocated funding for ACCOs is needed to address structural barriers and the competitive market to ensure our children can access supports.
“A community-led process to evaluation, reporting, and funding will have better results for funders and better outcomes for our children and families.”