Independent Review of Aboriginal Children and Young People in Out of Home Care (OOHC)
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward has received Professor Megan Davis’ independent report into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People in out-of-home care in NSW.
Professor Davis’ report, titled Family Is Culture, was commissioned in 2016 and makes 125 recommendations to the NSW Government based on a review of 1,144 children and young people who entered care in 2015-16.
The report’s recommendations will be considered carefully and in their entirety. The Department of Communities and Justice will work through the report and prepare preliminary advice to the Minister in the first half of 2020 on the suggested way forward.
Since 2015, the NSW Government has implemented significant reforms to keep Aboriginal families together, including:
- Evidence-based family preservation and restoration programs aim at keeping families together, which are contributing to a reduction in the rate of children and young people entering out-of-home care;
- The Permanency Support Program, which provides tailored services to vulnerable Aboriginal children and young people enabling them to grow up in connected and culturally rich environments, with the support of their relatives, kin and community;
- The introduction of the Aboriginal Case Management Policy, which provides a framework for delivering casework services that are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal children, their families and communities; and
These programs contributed to a 35 per cent reduction in Aboriginal children and young people entering care since 2015-16.
Number of children and young people who entered OOHC, 2015-16 to 2018-19, by Aboriginality
- Since 2015-16, figures for 2018-19 show that there has been a 42% reduction in all children and young people entering OOHC in NSW.
- Since 2015-16, figures for 2018-19 show that there has been a 35% reduction in Aboriginal children and young people entering OOHC in NSW.
Number of children and young people in OOHC as at 30 June, 2016 to 2019, by Aboriginality
- As at 30 June 2019, there were a total of 16,884 children and young people in OOHC.
- This is an overall decrease of 5.4% from the 17,841 children and young people who were in OOHC as at 30 June 2016.
- As at 30 June 2019, there were 6,754 Aboriginal children and young people in OOHC, representing 40% of the total OOHC population at that period.
- As at 30 June 2019, the number of Aboriginal children and young people in OOHC is the lowest it has been since 30 June 2016.
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