Government assesses reform effects
The NSW Government has developed an Aboriginal impact statement to assess the effect its reforms to the child protection system will have on Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities.
“Sadly, Aboriginal children are over represented in the State’s out-of-home care system. About 40 per cent of children in care are Aboriginal,” NSW Minister for Community Services Linda Burney said.
“Many of the government’s Keep Them Safe reforms to the NSW child protection system are aimed at improving outcomes for Aboriginal families and reducing the number of children and young people entering care.
“The Aboriginal impact statement was developed to assess the impact that these reforms will have on Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities.
“The statement is a living document and will change over time as gauging the impact of reforms is an ongoing process.
“Annual reports will be compiled to measure how the needs of Aboriginal people have been considered under the Keep Them Safe, which is a five-year reform plan.”
Ms Burney said the guiding principles of the Aboriginal Impact Statement are: the recognition of Aboriginal people’s rights to self-determination; respect for local differences and practices; that genuine consultation requires support, resources, time and care attention to local needs; providing sufficient time for consultation, development and implementation is critical; and a goal of all Keep Them Safe activities should be to build capacity in Aboriginal communities and organisations.
She also said the statement was developed in consultation with various government and non-government agencies and was discussed at an Aboriginal consultation forum held in August last year.
“The NSW Government would like to thank all individuals and organisations for their input into this statement,” she said.
“This initiative is ultimately about making sure that Aboriginal people have a voice in the child protection policy process.”
The Aboriginal Impact Statement is now available on the Keep Them Safe website, www.keepthemsafe.nsw.gov.au