22 December 2015 | General Interest
SNAICC is excited to be starting new work in 2016 with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (QLD) to support the design and delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family-Led Decision Making (ATSIFLDM) trials in collaboration with participating service providers and recognised entities. SNAICC believes the trials are an important step towards ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities in Queensland can genuinely participate in decisions made for the care and protection of their own children.
These trials are designed to ensure support and responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families are:
- more culturally appropriate,
- strongly evidence based,
- appropriate for local contexts.
To achieve this, the department and its non-government partners will trial three new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision making and shared practice models in Ipswich, Mt Isa and Cairns and the Torres Strait Islands. These trials are designed to empower and support families to make informed choices to ensure the care and protection of their children.
These alternative models recognise the needs and strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, and seek to place families at the centre of the decision making process. At each trial site, a family group meeting process will bring together extended family, kin and community members to make decisions about how to ensure the best care and safety of children.
The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) will also partner with SNAICC to ensure that learnings from their work implementing Aboriginal Family-Led Decision Making in Victoria are shared to support the development of the Queensland trials.
SNAICC will also be working with local communities in each trial location to establish reference groups to facilitate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community participation in the design and implementation of the trials.
The trials will take place over 12 months, commencing in early 2016.
The first trial in Ipswich will be conducted in partnership with Kummara Inc. Family Support Service, which delivers family support services to families with high needs. The second trial in Mt Isa will partner with the Aboriginal and Islanders Development and Recreational Women’s Association and District Inc. (AIDRWA). The third trial will be conducted in two locations – Cairns and the Torres Strait Islands – in partnership with local recognised entities, Wuchopperan Health Service and Port Kennedy Association.
The trials will be independently evaluated and the results will be used to inform future departmental practice and contribute to addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland’s child protection system.