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Chamberlain et al 2022 Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families to Stay Together.pdf (536.76 kB)
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Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families to Stay Together from the Start (SAFeST Start): Urgent call to action to address crisis in infant removals

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posted on 01.03.2022, 02:15 by Catherine ChamberlainCatherine Chamberlain, Paul Gray, Debra Bennet, Alison ElliottAlison Elliott, Marika Jackomos, Jacynta Krakouer, Rhonda Marriott, Birri O'Dea, Julie AndrewsJulie Andrews, Shawana Andrews, Caroline Atkinson, Judy Atkinson, Alexandra BhathalAlexandra Bhathal, Gina Bundle, Shanamae Davies, Helen Herrman, Sue‐Anne Hunter, Glenda Jones‐Terare, Cathy Leane, Sarah Mares, Jennifer McConachy, Fiona Mensah, Catherine Mills, Janine Mohammed, Lumbini Hetti Mudiyanselage, Melissa O'Donnell, Elizabeth Orr, Naomi Priest, Yvette Roe, Kristen Smith, Catherine Waldby, Helen Milroy, Marcia Langton
Abstract: Reducing the rate of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of- home care (OOHC) is a key Closing the Gap target committed to by all Australian governments. Current strategies are failing. The “gap” is widening, with the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in OOHC at 30 June 2020 being 11 times that of non- Indigenous children. Approximately, one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering OOHC each year are younger than one year. These figures represent compound-ing intergenerational trauma and institutional harm to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. This article outlines systemic failures to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents during pregnancy and following birth, causing cumulative harm and trauma to families, communities and cultures. Major reform to child and family notification and service systems, and significant investment to address this crisis, is urgently needed. The Family Matters Building Blocks and five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (Prevention, Participation, Partnership, Placement and Connection) provide a trans-formative foundation to address historical, institutional, well- being and socioeconomic drivers of current catastrophic trajectories. The time for action is now.

History

Publication Date

26/01/2022

Journal

Australian Journal of Social Issues

Pagination

22p.

Publisher

Wiley

ISSN

0157-6321

Rights Statement

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.© 2022 The Authors. Australian Journal of Social Issues published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australian Social Policy Association.