What is the Indigenous Child Protection Project?
The Indigenous Child Protection Project is a partnership between the Aboriginal Legal Service and Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
Launched in November 2017, the project is a response to the unacceptable over-representation of our children in out-of-home care in NSW as a result of poor government policy settings and laws.
The project uses a combination of litigation and advocacy to achieve the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal children, parents and families.
Informed by the national Family Matters campaign, the project goals are to ensure:
Families are supported to care for their children
● Removal is a last resort and early intervention is prioritised.
● Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have access to culturally appropriate and effective services to assist them to care for children.
Families and communities have control over decisions affecting their children
● Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and communities participate in decision-making.
● Children who are removed from their families are supported to remain connected to their culture and communities.
● There is understanding of and trust in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices and decision-making.
Families are treated fairly and with respect, including respect for culture
● The Department of Communities and Justice and the court system respect the rights of children, parents and extended families at all stages of proceedings.
● The court system is culturally safe and respectful. It is effective at addressing power imbalances between the Department of Communities and Justice, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Department of Communities and Justice Decision-making is transparent and accountable
● There is independent oversight of decision-making, including by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
The project fights for better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the child protection system in NSW. Through our work, we ensure:
● Aboriginal families kept together and supported to care for their children.
● Aboriginal families are getting their their children back.
● Children that have been taken away are housed in a culturally safe place.
● The Court's adherence to the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.
● Families are treated fairly and with respect, including respect for culture.