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Family Matters: Strong Communities. Strong culture. Stronger children is Australia's national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.
Right now in Australia, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children sleeping away from their homes is almost 15,000 – and is on a trajectory to triple in the coming decades.
Family Matters aims to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of- home care by 2040.
To address this national crisis, the Family Matters coalition – a 150-strong contingent of prominent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, noted academics and other leading groups – is calling for a comprehensive national strategy to be adopted by state and federal governments.
Why Family Matters?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 9.5 times more likely to be removed by child protection authorities than non-Indigenous children, and they are 10 times more likely to be removed into government supported services.
Some of the causes of removals are attributed to the significant levels of disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Even-though there are services to support families who come in contact with the child protection system, there is but significantly lower access to services that support child safety, development and well-being.
What are we doing?
As Australia's leading child rights organisation, we are a key partner with the Family Matters campaign.
For more than 30 years, we have delivered early childhood services for children under six years old, as well as parenting support programs. With 100 sites across Australia in urban, rural and remote areas, we give children under six the chance for the best start in life.
More than a third of children in our early childhood programs are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. We work alongside communities to support effective community-driven development that enhances opportunities for children and families, respecting culture, community and connection to land.
What can you do?
- Sign up to support the Family Matters: Strong Communities. Strong culture. Stronger children campaign.
- Find out more about the current status of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by downloading the Family Matters Report.
Image credit: SNAICC