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Family Matters Report 2023

The annual Family Matters Report examines government actions to address the over-representation and the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection systems. It highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions and calls on governments to support and invest in the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to lead on child wellbeing, development and safety responses for our children. 

This year’s report shows that child protection systems continue to fail Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, with the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering out-of-home care continuing to rise, exposing them to ongoing harm and trauma. 

Key findings of the 2023 Family Matters Report include: 
  • 22,328 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children currently in out-of-home care  
  • 10.5 times more likely to be living in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous children  
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children represent 42.8% of the total number of children in out-of-home care but only represent 5.98% of all children in Australia.  

The Family Matters report presents Aboriginal-led solutions to what is working best for our children and communities. It includes case studies from Aboriginal community-controlled organisations that offer culturally safe wraparound supports that ensure our children grow up healthy and strong in family, connected to culture and kin. 

Current trends indicate that the National Agreement on Closing the Gap’s Target 12 (to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45% by 2031) will not be met. The data presented in the Family Matters report highlights the need for transformative change and highlight the solutions that need systematic support and sustainable funding. 

Through the work done in the Family Matters Report, the federal government has committed to the establishment of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner with the legislated power to investigate and make recommendations on issues impacting our children and to ensure the safety and protection of our children.

 

Family Matters Report 2023

Family Matters Report 2023 Launch Live Stream Video

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The Issue

Despite numerous legal and policy frameworks protecting the cultural rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is almost ten times that of other children and it continues to grow.

The Issue
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The Solutions

We need a new approach that trusts Aboriginal people to deal with Aboriginal business, one that includes genuine collaboration and partnership, empowers communities and involves long-term all of government support across the country.

The Solutions
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The Child Placement Principle

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle was designed to recognise the importance of safe care within family and culture to the best interests of children and to ensure that actions that caused the Stolen Generations are not repeated.

The Child Placement Principle

The Annual Family Matters Report

Family Matters – Strong communities. Strong culture. Stronger children. produces an annual report that examines what governments are doing to turn the tide on over-representation and the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The Report highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions and calls on governments to support and invest in the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to lead on child wellbeing, development and safety responses for our children.

Family Matters’ goal is to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. Family Matters aims to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care within a generation (by 2040).

SNAICC plays a central role in Family Matters, guiding its strategic direction and fostering partnerships with over 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations, leading academics and prominent educational institutions who form its Strategic Alliance. Additionally, Family Matters is governed by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group, ensuring it has the authenticity and the range of skills required to truly effect change. Our leadership ensures that the initiative remains culturally authentic, sensitive and effective in addressing the issues of the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care.

Through collaboration, policy advocacy, community engagement and the cultivation of resources and support, SNAICC empowers Family Matters to create meaningful and sustainable change, ultimately working towards the goal of providing a safe, nurturing and culturally rich environment for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to thrive within their families, communities and cultures.

 

Family Matters Building Blocks

Resources

News

Family Matters Report 2023

November 2023

Family Matters Report 2023 shows that child protection systems continue to fail Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, with the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering out-of-home care continuing to rise, exposing them to ongoing harm and trauma. This report highlights, in particular, Aboriginal-led solutions to what is working best for our children and communities.

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News

Family Matters Report 2023 – Report Card

November 2023

Report Card for Family Matters 2023 Report.

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News

Family Matters Report 2023 – Data Snapshot

November 2023

Data Snapshot for Family Matters 2023 Report.

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News

Family Matters Brief

November 2022

Fact sheet with key information on Family Matters.

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News

Family Matters Data Snapshot 2022

November 2022

Data snapshot on the Family Matters 2022 annual report.

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News

Family Matters Report 2022

November 2022

Family Matters 2022 report is the third to be published following the development of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap and it measures the trends to turn the tide on the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in Australia.

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News

Family Matters Data Snapshot 2021

November 2021

Data snapshot on the Family Matters 2021 annual report.

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News

Family Matters Report 2021

November 2021

Family Matters Report 2021, launched at the 9th SNAICC – National Voice for our Children National Conference, shows that our children continue to be removed from family and kin at disproportionate rates, despite overwhelming evidence about the harm this causes to children, families and communities.

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News

Family Matters Data Snapshot 2020

November 2020

Data snapshot on the Family Matters 2020 annual report.

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News

Family Matters Report 2020

November 2020

The Family Matters Report 2020 reveals that our children continue to be removed from family and kin at disproportionate rates – disrupting their connection to community and culture. The report highlights states and territories that are leading the way to enable self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in child protection including through family-led decision-making programs and the delegation of child protection services to Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.

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News

Family Matters National Reflective Practice Tool

November 2020

The Reflective Practice Tool is developed for signatories of the Family Matters campaign to deeply reflect on their practice on an annual basis and identify any strengths, challenges and corresponding actions to effectively implementing the six core principles and four building blocks of the campaign to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are safe, well and cared for in their families, communities and cultures.

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News

Family Matters Data Snapshot 2019

November 2019

Data snapshot on the Family Matters 2019 annual report.

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