4 March 2015 | General Interest
SNAICC is working with the University of Technology Sydney to gather evidence on any cases of improper removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
We would really appreciate your support to forward this information to people whom you feel may be interested in participating in this process, or call us if you would like to participate!
We continue to hear disturbing accounts of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children being removed from their families in ways that are without valid basis or that apply incorrect procedures. These include stories of children being removed to locations far from their homes, removed because their parents and communities are poor and need support (for example, with housing), removed in ways that are frightening and upsetting for children and parents, and removed in ways that do not support cultural care or family and community support as required by legislation. Some stories include failure to look after the best interests of children and discriminatory treatment of families.
What we are doing
SNAICC is working with Terri Libesman at the University of Technology Sydney to start gathering this information more systemically so we can develop resources to collectively and individually highlight systemic failures and back up claims for urgent change.
First, we aim to use information for a submission into the Federal Senate Inquiry into out-of-home care, which provides examples of our concerns with failures to properly support Indigenous children in line with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle and child protection legislation. We have concerns that even though legislation has changed over the last 10 years to respect and recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families’ participation in decision making – with respect to their children, and the importance of cultural care – that, in practice, child welfare has not changed for many families.
We would also like to develop some resources for use of all organisations engaging on this issue and, finally, use the information for a specific, more in-depth research funding application to look more closely at, and gather evidence of, whether changes which are meant to support Indigenous participation in child welfare and other reforms have in fact been implemented.
Please contact us if you are interested in sharing information on specific cases or if there are people you can direct us to whom you think would be interested in sharing information on specific cases for the purpose of this research. Please contact Emma Sydenham at firstname.lastname@example.org or Terri Libesman at Teresa.Libesman@uts.edu.au
We are seeking to identify as many cases as possible to document in the next 6 weeks.
We anticipate that your involvement would involve a telephone conversation with UTS, provision of documentation where it is available, and review of draft notes. Any information would be de-identified and checked for accuracy and approval with you before any use. Any documents produced using the information would of course be shared with all involved and would recognise any input provided, unless anonymity is requested.
We look forward to hearing from you!