Reviewing Implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle Victoria 2020


This report reviews the progress of the New South Wales Government, through the Department of Health and Human Services, in implementing the full intent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.

This implementation review is conducted on the basis of the best practice approach set out in SNAICC, 2017, Understanding and Applying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle – A Resource for Legislation, Policy and Program Development and SNAICC, 2018, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle: A Guide to Support Implementation.

It considers changes in the implementation of the five elements of the Child Placement Principle – prevention, partnership, placement, participation and connection – described in diagram across five interrelated system elements, since the comprehensive baseline analysis SNAICC released in April 2018 (2018 Baseline Analysis).

This review considers implementation efforts from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020.

Key findings of the Implementation Review for New South Wales 2020

There are several program and policy initiatives in New South Wales that are promising in their intent and progress towards the Child Placement Principle.

However, these are overshadowed by concerns voiced by sector leaders, such as: inadequate funding; widespread, inconsistent implementation of policies and programs; and the urgent need to improve data collection and reporting. The continued investment in Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to deliver early intervention and prevention services is promising, however the continued downward trend of investment in family support is alarming and at inadequate levels to support vulnerable Aboriginal children, families and communities.

The gradual decline in placements of children with kin or Aboriginal carers is concerning, with sector leaders identifying clear and urgent opportunities for improving practice. Sector leaders reported observations that cultural components are not adequately or consistently addressed, despite policy and legislative requirements.

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