Welfare Experts Examine Aboriginal Services Policy

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11th March 2009, 08:16pm - Views: 972

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MARCH 11, 2009

Welfare experts examine Aboriginal services policy

The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) today renewed its

commitment to an Aboriginal welfare policy that would empower Aboriginal

communities to make critical decisions about the safety and wellbeing of their own


Under the policy, developed by national Aboriginal peak body the Secretariat of

National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), a new network of Aboriginal-

controlled community organisations would be established to operate culturally safe

programs, including out-of-home care services.

The policy is in line with recommendations contained within Justice Wood’s recent

report into child protection services in NSW and the State Government’s recent

response, which emphasises the need for partnerships and a shared responsibility

approach to child protection.  

Community service organisations gathered in Sydney today to examine the

framework and to discuss the way forward.


SNAICC Executive Officer Julian Pocock said it is absolutely imperative that

Aboriginal communities have a central role in the decisions that affect the protection

and wellbeing of their own children.

“For that to happen, the Government would need to look at developing and funding

Aboriginal agencies to take on core child protection functions, including assessing

risk and providing specialist advice on alternative care options for Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander children,” Mr Pocock said.

“It would also require a commitment from existing community service organisations to

partner with local Aboriginal agencies.

“The best way to support vulnerable families and children is for Indigenous and non-

Indigenous services to pool their resources, expertise and knowledge and work

together, so that serious situations of risk can be quickly and properly identified with

safe placement options for children, and situations which can be resolved through

additional family support can be managed without the need to remove children from

their families.”


Julian Pocock  

Bill Pritchard   

Sylvia Ghaly

Executive Officer 

Executive Officer 

Manager: Policy & Membership




M: 0419 379 764 

M: 0408 888 698

0407 755 906

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