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What is the WA Roadmap?

The Western Australian 10-Year Roadmap is a partnership between SNAICC and the Western Australian Department of Communities to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in Western Australia.

The Western Australian Government has acknowledged that the number of Aboriginal children entering, already in and the amount of time they remain in care is unacceptable and that we can only address this by working together on a coordinated response. The Roadmap aims to address the underlying factors causing the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, as well as increasing the role of Aboriginal families, communities and organisations in decision-making about child protection. 

Reflecting the voices of Aboriginal children and their families is central to the development of the Roadmap. In accordance with this, SNAICC has subcontracted local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations with inherent knowledge of the diverse Western Australian Aboriginal community, child protection history, policy and practice. These organisations were in place to, initially, hold culturally safe state-wide consultation forums across Western Australia and, subsequently, to contribute to the Roadmap’s development and ongoing success.

This is to ensure that a whole-of-government and community approach is in place to address the key drivers that contribute to children coming into contact with the child protection system, including family and domestic violence, substance abuse, unmanaged parental mental health and homelessness. 

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Our Role

SNAICC has worked – and continues to work – with community leaders, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and the WA Department of Communities to facilitate the design and implementation of the Roadmap.

Initially, the WA Department of Communities engaged SNAICC as a co-design partner to ensure that the voices of children, families and carers, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations, are at the forefront of the Roadmap’s development.

SNAICC has continued to play a critical role in the Roadmap’s development, producing relevant papers and reports and convening state-wide forums for the Roadmap’s design and oversight throughout 2022 and 2023. SNAICC also worked with an Expert Advisory Group of Aboriginal community leaders who provided crucial leadership, oversight and guidance in the development the Roadmap. The Final Roadmap and Action Plan were completed in July 2023.  

SNAICC and the advisory group are continuing to work on developing Aboriginal-led processes that will ensure Aboriginal communities are involved in shared decision-making for the Roadmap to ensure its continued success.

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Why We Need a Roadmap

Across Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are more likely than non-Indigenous children to be involved in the child protection system. 

In recognition of this, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders in Western Australia called for a fundamental reorientation of the child protection system by: 

  • replacing removal with healing and support for families
  • prioritising reunification
  • enabling self-determination
  • strengthening families 
  • ensuring an Aboriginal-led response
  • addressing structural racism
  • acknowledging the past as we move forward
  • delegating decision-making and authority to ACCOs
  • strengthening communities
  • knowing and supporting the wellbeing of each child

The Roadmap is Western Australia’s response to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (Target 12) and Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021-2031.

Resources

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News

Discussion paper: Developing a Western Australian 10 Year Roadmap to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

October 2022

Discussion paper on the development of WA Roadmap to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.

Download
News

Background Paper: Western Australian 10 Year Roadmap for reducing over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

October 2022

Background paper identifying key issues affecting child safety and wellbeing in Western Australia and the co-design process of the WA Roadmap.

Download

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