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Government must ensure that Aboriginal led decision making key to child protection 

Government should focus on implementing recommendations for real change on Aboriginal child health and safety rather than the old distraction of adoption, Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Communities Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Governments have failed over many years to listen and take action on recommendations for change. How many times does it need to be said, we must have an Aboriginal-led responses in Aboriginal communities, top down approaches from Government have not and will never work.

“We must learn from the mistakes of the past, removing kids from family, land and culture only worsens their outcomes and life prospects.

“It is sledge hammer responses that resulted in the failed Northern Territory Intervention.

“The intergenerational trauma of some Stolen Generation parents and grandparents created by previous policies of Aboriginal child removal are one of the major causes of over-representation in our child protection system.

“Governments have failed to implement the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home report and we now have a higher proportion of Aboriginal children in out of home care than we had at the time of the report.

“Rather than going back to early 20th century thinking the Government should be working with Aboriginal organisations on an Aboriginal-led responses that address the immediate child protection needs and prevention and early supports for families.

“Aboriginal organisations across the country have been calling for the establishment of peak Aboriginal child protection bodies and SNAICC has repeatedly presented to the Federal Parliament a comprehensive plan to address child protection, prevention and early intervention.

“We need to ensure that vulnerable families receive the support they need rather than providing a ‘solution’ that just entrenches the current system which is doing nothings to improve outcomes or ensure safety for kids.

“Aboriginal organisations must feel from recent comments by the Assistant Minister that they have not been taken seriously. We need change including from the Government if they genuinely want to help Aboriginal kids”.

Media contact: Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418401180  

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