The peak body for Aboriginal Child Protection in NSW has labelled the State Government’s response to the Family is Culture review as “unremarkable.”
The Family is Culture review, released in November 2019, examines the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in NSW and highlights the need for structural change to the child protection system.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward said a new designated position within the Office of the Children’s guardian will strengthen oversight and enforcement powers in accrediting care providers to ensure a higher standard of practice.
An Aboriginal Knowledge Circle of community leaders and experts will also be created in response to the report, and will provide independent advice to the department.
AbSec said in a statement “the NSW Government has failed to comprehensively engage with Aboriginal communities over the past eight months in developing their response and none of the recommendations that would improve self-determination are included.”
“AbSec will continue to fight for the implementation of the remaining recommendations of the Family is Culture Review, with a focus on establishing an independent Aboriginal Child Protection Commission with the ability to hold live data in relation to Aboriginal children, families and communities.”
AbSec chairperson Dana Clarke said “while there are some positives, many essential reforms have either been postponed or ignored.”