Save the Children welcomes today’s commitment by the Federal Government to close the education ‘gap’ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children but urges urgent action on the overrepresentation in out-of-home care.
Detailed in today’s annual parliamentary Closing the Gap address, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s education package will implement a $200 million program to keep Indigenous children in school.
However, to address the national crisis of the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care, Save the Children urges its inclusion in the Close the Gap strategy.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are currently 10.1 times more likely to be in out of home care than non-Indigenous children, however this issue remains a stark omission in the current Closing the Gap strategy.
Save the Children Director of Policy Mat Tinkler says the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is increasing every year and represents a crisis level of intervention in family life.
“We stand in support of the Family Matters campaign and urge this process to formally include addressing the devastating over representation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care,” Mr Tinkler said.
“Children have the right to grow up knowing who they are and where the come from, and right now too many Indigenous children are at serious risk of being permanently disconnected from their families, communities and cultures.”
Save the Children reiterates its support for self-determination and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have real control over issues which affect them and their children.
“No funding injections nor programming changes will be successful unless they are led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Mr Tinkler said.
Save the Children welcomed the announcement in December 2018 of a formal tripartite agreement with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations to formally oversee the ‘refresh process’.
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