How should we address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system?
Sep 10, 2021
The Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) has recently released a report titled “Principle Focus: A child-rights approach to systemic accountability for the safety and wellbeing of Queensland’s First Nations children”. Through analysis of publicly available data, the QFCC confirms that Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to be over-represented across the child protection system. The inequity experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families across a number of social determinants of wellbeing contributes significantly to the rate of formal contact and ongoing involvement with the child protection system. The report shows that there has been continuing growth in both representation and outcome disparity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people, which demonstrates ongoing structural inequality. The report also found that the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being infringed by the inconsistent interpretation and application of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, the impact of direct and indirect discriminiation within the system, and the inherent cultural bias of the systems and people responsible for making decisions regarding the safety and wellbeing of children.