There are far more indigenous Queensland children needing state protection than any other group. So in a bid to close the gap, the state government is going to do more to keep Aboriginal and Islander families together. It believes it can find new programs to keep indigenous children at home.
Jemma Beh reports.
Senior government ministers joined forces with local indigenous leaders to tackle a major issue.
Over the next five years, the government will spend 150 million dollars to help support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
The main aim is to reduce the number of children needing protection.
Curtis Pitt, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships: “We have to do what we can as a Government to address the disproportionate representation and over representation of and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in our out of care home system.”
Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Child Safety: “We absolutely need to do more to protect our vulnerable families to prevent more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children coming into our system.”
The ministers also attended the official opening of a community controlled Indigenous support service in Brisbane’s north.
Margie Luter, Program Manager Kurbingui Youth Development: “People, communities have better access to services but also in terms of families, what that support means is being able to be in your own home and functioning and having your everyday life.”
The funding is greatly needed, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children already making up a large proportion of children in care. If current trends continue over the next five years, they will account for more than half the children in care in Queensland.
Jemma Beh, QUT News.