What is the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle?
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle states the preferred order of placement for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child who has been removed from their birth family. The principle has been endorsed in legislation or policy in all Australian states and territories.
The preferred order is for the child to be placed with:
● the child’s extended family;
● the child’s Aboriginal community; or
● other Aboriginal people
Only if an appropriate placement cannot be found from the three groups can an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child be placed with a non-Aboriginal carer (Lock, 1997).
The principle provides an important acknowledgement that previous policies caused suffering to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and reflects the right of Aboriginal people to raise their children and retain them in their communities (Lock, 1997).
Children placed in one of the three preferred options are described as having been placed in accordance with the principle.