What we achieve

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families will have access to culturally appropriate Indigenous-specific and mainstream services and care.

Placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

When working with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child, young person or family the department must apply each of the five elements of the Child Placement Principle, those being prevention, partnership, placement, participation and connection.

When placing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child or young person in care, the department is required to give consideration to placement with a member of the child's family group in accordance with the additional elements in the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (section 5C and section 83 of the Child Protection Act 1999 (the Act).

The Act requires that in making a decision about who the child should be placed with, the chief executive (Director-General) of the department must give proper consideration to the views of the child and the child's family, ensure the decision provides opportunities for the child to maintain connection with family, community, culture and country under Aboriginal tradition and Island custom, and give proper consideration to placing the child, in order of priority, with:

  • a member of the child's family group
  • a member of the child's community or language group
  • another Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who is compatible with the child's community or language group
  • another Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.

When the department is unable to place a child in accordance with the legislated placement provisions, consideration must be given to placing a child, in the following order, with:

  • a person who lives near the child's family
  • a person who lives near the child's community or language group.

Secondly, before placing a child with a non-Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander carer, the department must assess the carer's commitment to:

  • facilitating contact between the child and their parents and other family members, subject to limitations on the contact under Section 87 of the Act
  • helping the child maintain a connection with their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture
  • preserving and enhancing the child's sense of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity.

In placing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child outside of the home, the department must provide an opportunity for the child and the child's family, supported by an independent Person (if the family chooses) to participate in the placement decision.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in care placed with kin

Source: Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.

What is being counted

  1. Data is as at the reference date.
  2. Number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in care (placed with kinship carers, foster carers or residential care services) and whether or not they are placed with kin.

Definition notes

  1. Kin: A person who is related to the child or a member of the child's community who is considered family or a close friend, who has been approved by the department to provide family-based care for the child. Kinship carers are approved for a specific child.
  2. Foster care: Includes children living with a foster carer or a provisionally approved carer where no family relationship exists between carer and child.
  3. Kinship care: Includes children living with a kinship carer, and children living with a foster carer or provisionally approved carer where a family relationship exists between the carer and child.
  4. Residential care: Includes children living in non-family-based accommodation and support services funded by the department to provide care arrangements for children, generally aged 12 years and over. These services provide daily care and support for children by rostered residential care workers.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in care, by placement type and relationship to carer

Source: Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.

What is being counted

  1. Data is as at the reference date.
  2. Counts all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care (including foster carers, provisionally approved carers, kinship carers and residential care services).

Definition notes

  1. Relative/kin: Includes children living with carers, where a family/kin relationship exists between the carer and child.

  2. Residential care: Includes children living in non-family-based accommodation and support services funded by the department to provide care arrangements for children, generally aged 12 years and over. These services provide daily care and support for children by rostered residential care workers.