Indigenous kids removal from family grows

Colin Brinsden
·1-min read

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are almost 10 times more likely to be living away from their families than non-indigenous children.

A new report - The Family Matters Report 2020 - will reveal indigenous children continue to be removed from family and kin at disproportionate rates, disrupting their connection to community and culture.

"Our children are 9.7 times more likely to be living away from their families than non-Indigenous children, an over-representation that has increased consistently over the last 10 years," Family Matters chair Sue-Anne Hunter said.

"It is time to completely change this broken system that is not working for our kids."

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children represent 37 per cent of the total population of all children that have been removed from their parents - a staggering 20,077 children.

"Without urgent action, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is projected to double by 2029," Ms Hunter said.

The report shows 81 per cent or 16,287 of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care are living permanently away from their birth parents until the age of 18 years.

"Permanently removing our children from their family and ties to community is not the answer to a happy, healthy and safe upbringing," Ms Hunter said.

"We have learnt from the Stolen Generations that removal leads to continued disadvantage and intergenerational trauma for our children."

She believes investing in Aboriginal-led solutions, closing the gap on education and employment outcomes, and supporting families with essential early intervention and prevention services, can work towards ensuring indigenous children have the best opportunities to live happy and healthy lives.