Commission report tabled in Parliament

12 October 2016

Today the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) tabled a report based on its systemic inquiry into compliance with the intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.

The In the child’s best interests report makes 54 recommendations based on a review of policies and guidelines,  case file reviews, data analysis, public submissions and direct consultations as well as a survey of some child protection staff.

Many of the findings are well known to the department and a great deal of progress has already been made on many of the initiatives, with six recommendations already in progress, or classified as completed.

Almost all remaining recommendations relating to the Department of Health and Human Services have been accepted in full, or in principle.  Only two have been accepted in part.

While the number of Aboriginal children and young people in out of home care is unacceptably high, the Victorian Government is making significant progress by collaborating closely with Aboriginal organisations and service providers.

This includes the establishment of the Aboriginal Children’s Forum; funding and work to improve cultural planning for Aboriginal children; funding to enhance the specialist advice Aboriginal agencies provide to child protection; for Return to Country trips and work to implement section 18 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 that allows an Aboriginal agency to assume responsibility for the welfare of an Aboriginal child subject to a Children’s Court protection order.

The 2016-17 State Budget also included $168 million for the Government’s ambitious Roadmap for Reform, including $16.5 million to ensure Aboriginal children and young people maintain links with their culture, plus the recruitment of additional Aboriginal kinship and foster carers.

The Victorian Government will continue working closely with the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People and the Principal Commissioner to improve the wellbeing of Victorian children – including Aboriginal children.

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