12 February 2018
New targets urgently needed to Close the Gap on Child Removal.
National Director of UnitingCare Australia, Claerwen Little, said today that action to reverse the growing gap in child removal rates between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australian children was needed immediately.
‘We acknowledge that resetting the Closing the Gap Strategy must be undertaken by Federal, State and Territory governments in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities. What we need right now are clear targets to address child protection added to the Closing the Gap strategy.
The Federal Government has a critical role to play in leading, implementing and resourcing a refreshed strategy, and measuring outcomes against clearly-defined targets, both short and long-term.
We need to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities because they are the people living with these issues every day and the long-term solutions must be driven at a community level with government support.
However, the alarm bells on growth in Indigenous child removal and juvenile detention rates have been ringing for years. We also know that the Out of Home Care system is in too many cases a conduit to juvenile detention.
UnitingCare Australia calls on the Prime Minister to take the lead in reducing the child removal gap by adding child protection targets to the Closing the Gap goals. Also addressing the adverse conditions that place children at increased risk of maltreatment.
For interviews or more information please contact Tom Finnigan at UnitingCare Australia