Page 1287 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022
Act. I look forward to providing the Assembly with an update on this consultation process in the next six-monthly report.
We have been working closely with the implementation oversight committee on the expansion of the Aboriginal community-controlled organisation sector in the ACT, with a particular focus on services that can be delivered to children and families involved—or at risk of involvement—with the child protection system. Existing community-controlled organisations are also engaged in this work.
Senior executives from Child and Youth Protection Services continue to meet monthly with the implementation oversight committee to provide updates on the review of policies and practices to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
Over the last six months this has included a strong focus on ensuring fathers whose children are in care are respectfully engaged and involved in decisions around their children, better family finding and recording of family and community ties to ensure that children in care remain connected to family, culture and community, improving the quality of cultural plans through the new cultural panel that meets regularly to review and provide recommendations about cultural plans, and a continued focus on ensuring that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child placement principle is embedded, applied and implemented across all CYPS policies and practices.
A cross-directorate committee has been working to identify gaps in service delivery and develop options to enhance early support capacity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the areas of drug and alcohol misuse, family violence, mental health, trauma counselling and cultural healing.
I acknowledge that some recommendations are taking longer than others to progress and the data continues to tell a story of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care. That is fundamentally unacceptable. However, I am encouraged by the good results we are seeing from functional family therapy and family group conferencing, and the greater proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are placed with kinship carers.
I would like to thank the members of the Our Booris, Our Way Implementation Oversight Committee, who have continued to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom to inform this ongoing work, while holding us to account on our progress. I know that it is tough, and we genuinely appreciate that they are sticking with this. We will continue to work closely with the committee to strive for positive long-term changes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the ACT.
The six-monthly progress report on A Step Up for Our Kids, the snapshot report, has also been tabled today. As members would be aware, the six-monthly progress report on A Step Up for Our Kids has been presented to the Legislative Assembly since April 2018, with the most recent snapshot report tabled in November 2021.
In considering the snapshot report, it is important to note that the data is internal operational data that can be updated and changed between reporting periods, and