16 Aug 2018
Minister for Territory Families
The Territory Labor Government is investing $5.4 million over four years to recruit and support Aboriginal foster and kinship carers, as well as investing in training for current carers.
The investment is a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children and is additional to the $120 million annual investment in out-of-home care services.
From that funding pool, $4.2 million is allocated specifically to fund three Aboriginal-controlled organisations across the Territory to increase their capacity to identify family or other suitable Aboriginal carers for children, and to provide them with culturally appropriate support.
The remaining $1.2 million will be invested to improve training for all foster and kinship carers, and to expand the use of interpreters so that families can participate in making decisions about their children in their first language and understand what is happening.
Funded organisations will play a vital role in providing culturally responsive and local approaches to addressing the need for more Aboriginal carers for Aboriginal children across the Territory.
Funded organisations will focus on improvements in two key areas:
• Finding and recruiting Aboriginal foster and kinship carers for Aboriginal children in care
• Supporting Aboriginal foster and kinship carers so that they are more informed, equipped, valued and enabled to care for children and young people and to maintain a stable placement for as long as required
Quotes from Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield
"Every child deserves a childhood were they are safe and connected with their culture and identity. The Territory Labor Government is investing in the most vulnerable children in the early years to change their pathways in life.
“We currently have over 1000 children in out-of-home care and almost 90% of these children are Aboriginal, we need to address this overrepresentation and ensure that every child has a bright future.
“The child’s safety will always be the most important factor in placements. It is also essential that our reformed out-of-home care system empowers and gives a greater decision-making role to Aboriginal people and Aboriginal-controlled organisations.”
Quotes from Dr Christine Fejo-King, Policy and Social Work (PhD), External Expert Member of the Clinical Governance & Professional Practice Committee
“Placing Aboriginal children with Aboriginal kin grounds them in who they are and where they belong. The fundamental thing about being human – the need that everyone has – is to know who you are and where you belong in the world.
“I support programs such as the Aboriginal Carers Growing Up Aboriginal Children grants because Aboriginal organisations are best placed to deliver these services. This is because they are part of the community. They are Aboriginal people working for Aboriginal people with Aboriginal people.
“I would like to see the Aboriginal community come out strongly and take their place as the guides and mentors and strengths of their children for the future.”
Media Contact: Paige Nguyen 0428 727 244