SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children and the Noongar Family Safety and Wellbeing Council (NFSWC) welcomed the opportunity to submit to the Western Australia Legislative Council Standing Committee on Legislation’s Inquiry into the Children and Community Services Amendment Bill 2019 (WA) (hereafter “the Bill”).
The 6 August committee hearing featuring representatives from SNAICC and the NFSWC can be viewed here.
Both organisations have high concerns that the Bill in its current form, falls well short of what is needed to protect the rights of, and improve outcomes for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in contact with the Western Australian child protection system. Amendments to the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (WA) are vital to ensure that the legislative framework fully enables our families and communities to exercise their rights to self-determination and participation in decisions about the care and protection of our children.
The Children and Community Services Amendment Bill 2019 (WA) has been referred to the Standing Committee on Legislation in Western Australia for an inquiry and report by 15 September 2020.
Over the past three years SNAICC and the NFSWC have provided consistent input to the reform of child protection legislation, calling for a range of vital reforms including stronger recognition of the five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP) and the rights of families and communities to self-determination and participation in decisions about the care and protection of their children.