DATE: Thursday, 3rd June 2021
Aboriginal People Should Be Responsible for Aboriginal Children
Thirteen years ago, the formal apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples, particularly to the Stolen Generations, we see Government departments today, still removing Aboriginal Children from their families, culture, and communities without consultation or inclusion from Elders and at a rate higher than non-indigenous children and young people.
The Child Protection Party is disappointed to hear the removal of a baby from its biological mother just hours after being born due to a perceived threat of abuse and neglect.
We are nearing the end of National Reconciliation Week in Western Australia, a time for all to reflect and consider the history and future of Aboriginal people just thirteen years after the National Apology. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are disproportionately being removed from their families and placed into out-of-home care, raising concerns of another Stolen Generation.
We as a society should do all we can to support young mothers like Mila. We live in the 21st Century, with over 929 vacant and unused Department of Communities' houses., if not for the moral value but the economic benefit. Every year, millions of taxpayers' dollars wasted on punitive measures where qualified staff could provide culturally safe support at a fraction of the child removal cost.
Aboriginal Children, their families and communities should have significant input in discussions and child protection concerns and be afforded the courtesy to participate in and control decisions that affect them and their children. Indigenous children make up 55 per cent of all children in out of home care in Western Australia, according to the 2019 Productivity Commission's report.
We believe the Aboriginal community need therapeutic approaches, supporting Aboriginal family empowerment and decision making. The Child Protection Party believes our current child protection system is systemically racist and does not consider family, culture, and community needs.
Child protection services must be culturally safe and responsive to the First Nations children and families they serve.
The Child Protection Party critically questions the Department for Communities' policies and practices, which lead to a baby removed from the mother with no signs of abuse or neglect. Lack of housing is not a legitimate reason in our country to have your children removed.
The Child Protection Party acknowledges that the most appropriate person to speak on Aboriginal issues is Aboriginal people.
Self-determination is paramount.
We need to broadly adopt inclusive and highly participatory practices to safeguard children and support the well-being of families without being punitive. Our children are our future and need to be taken seriously.