Aboriginal children are significantly over represented in the child protection and out-of-home care population. A greater understanding of and commitment to practice approaches, which take account of Aboriginal culture, family relationships and parenting arrangements, is likely to better meet the best interests of Aboriginal children.
Intervention with an Aboriginal child is culturally attuned and informed by the Best interests case practice model and the best interest principles, and additional legal requirements for Aboriginal children in the CYFA:
- best interest principles – ‘the need, in relation to an Aboriginal child, to protect and promote his or her Aboriginal cultural and spiritual identity and development by, wherever possible, maintaining and building their connections to their Aboriginal family and community’, CYFA s. 10(3)(c)
- additional decision-making principles, CYFA s. 12
- Aboriginal child placement principle, CYFA s. 13
- cultural support for Aboriginal child in out-of-home care, CYFA s. 176
- conciliation conference for an Aboriginal child, CYFA s. 222(2)(c)(d)
- permanent care order in respect of an Aboriginal child, CYFA s. 323.
Child protection assessment and decision-making for an Aboriginal child is strengthened by consultation with the Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Service (ACSASS).
This policy applies to divisional child protection practitioners, the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service (AHCPES) and the Streetwork Outreach Service (SOS).