Transition to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations

Aboriginal children and young people represent 20 per cent of all children in state care in Victoria and are 12 times more likely than non-Aboriginal children to be placed in Out of Home Care.

 

The Victorian Government in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and Community Sector Organisations (CSOs) have committed to the self-determination and self-management for Aboriginal people in Victoria. As part of this commitment it has been agreed that responsibility for the care and case management of Aboriginal children subject to child protection orders will be gradually transitioned from government and non-Aboriginal organisations to ACCOs. The transition will see existing funding for home based care services and case management transferred gradually from child protection and CSOs to ACCOs, subject to the ACCOs willingness and readiness to deliver such services.

 

The transition aims to ensure that Aboriginal children and young people together with their carer families are closely connected to the child and young person’s family, community and culture. For an Aboriginal child, the passing down of culture is central to their development and identity. This means understanding the importance of cultural safety and cultural connections as a form of healing. Aboriginal children and young people rely on others, including their carers, to develop their cultural understanding through experience.

 

To support this, kinship and foster carers who care for Aboriginal children and young people will be transitioned to being supported by an ACCO, noting that the timing for transition will vary from area to area informed by the ACCOs readiness and in all instances the best interests of the child and the willingness of carers to transition.

It is envisaged the transition will commence in the coming months and involve a small number of children and carers in the metropolitan area of the North division. Should it be identified that the child in your care would benefit from being case managed, or the placement supervised by an ACCO, your CSO will discuss this with you in the coming months. As part of this arrangement there are no intentions to change the care for any children. Also, carers transitioning to ACCOs will not be required to undertake any additional accreditation processes.

 

More information will be provided as transitions commence across the state. In the meantime, please raise any queries you may have with your current support worker, your foster care service or the Foster Care Association of Victoria.  

 

Click here to see the DHHS fact sheet re: Changes to the care and case management of Aboriginal children involved with Child Protection.