"Across Australia, more than 17,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are living in out-of-home care. This figure has doubled since 2008 when the Parliament of Australia apologised to the Stolen Generations. This is a national shame that we all need to have a part in addressing," Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds said.
Save the Children is a proud partner of the Family Matters campaign, which calls for a new child protection target through the Closing the Gap refresh. Any target must be underpinned by a national strategy that addresses the underlying causes of child protection intervention – including family violence, intergenerational trauma, drug and alcohol, mental health and disability issues.
"We know that children are far more likely to succeed when they are supported by a strong family and connected to community and culture. This must be led by Aboriginal communities, families and children to ensure self-determination is front and centre of this next phase of history," Mr Ronalds said.
"A national target must be supported by greater investment in prevention and early intervention services. This is a significant way to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families."
Save the Children has worked alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities in Australia for more than 65 years.
"As a child rights organisation with strong connections to the communities with whom we work, it is imperative that we promote and defer to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations and communities," Mr Ronalds said.
"Save the Children works with community leaders on the development of locally initiated and owned priorities. We work with families and communities to map aspirations, needs, capacity and local delivery."
Save the Children has partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies on programs such as the newly announced Arnja Empowered Community partnership to deliver a sustainable mentoring program in the Dampier Peninsular, WA, the First 1000 Days Australia family and community strengthening initiative with the University of Melbourne and SNAICC: National Voice for Our Children on the Family Matters campaign.
Call Alex Sampson on 0429 943 027 for interviews.