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


This report reviews the progress of the Victorian 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 Victoria 2020

Victoria is the clear leader in implementing the Child Placement Principle, with an increase in and highest percentage of placement of Aboriginal children with family and kin in the country.

Its investment in continuing the Kinship Care Model and transfer of case management of Aboriginal children to Aboriginal community-controlled organisations demonstrates clear efforts to increase the number of Aboriginal children placed with family or Aboriginal carers. The transition of case management to ACCOs has also proven successful in increasing reunification rates.

Sector leaders continue to be deeply concerned that the over-representation of Aboriginal children in care in Victoria continues to escalate year after year. While the Victorian Government’s commitment to advance self-determination and reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care has been welcomed, stakeholders reported no evidence to suggest that current legislative, policy and program settings in Victoria will see the goal of eliminating over representations by 2040 achieved.

Aboriginal family-led decision-making continued over the reporting period with 1,345 meetings held in 2018-2019. Aboriginal family-led decision-making is essential to successfully implementing the participation element; however, sector leaders continue to report inconsistency in practice. Hence, further work is required to ensure that families are in practice empowered to participate in decision-making.

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