Commissioner signs Commitment for Aboriginal children and young people
Commissioner Colin Pettit has lent his support to a national commitment to work towards reducing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in out-of-home care.
The Commissioner signed the Family Matters Statement of Commitment to work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their organisations to ensure Aboriginal children grow up safe and cared for.
Today the Commissioner met with the Family Matters WA Working Group Chairperson Donna Kickett to discuss the group’s activities at a state level.
The State of Commitment echoes the Commissioner’s own role to act in the best interests of all children and young people and have particular regard for Aboriginal children and young people and those who are vulnerable for any reason.
“We know that while many of WA’s Aboriginal children and young people are doing well, Aboriginal children continue to be over-represented in out-of-home care,” Mr Pettit said.
“Developing the strength and connectedness of families and the communities in which Aboriginal children and young people live is a key aspect of my office’s ongoing work.”
In a major consultation with more than 1,200 Aboriginal children and young people around WA, the importance of family and culture were strong themes.
“Children and young people overwhelmingly spoke about the importance of family and relationships that provided a sense of belonging,” Mr Pettit said.
“They also identified being connected to their culture as one of the more important features of their lives.”
The Statement of Commitment is an initiative of Family Matters, a national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and their culture.
The Family Matters Statement of Commitment has six principles:
- Applying a child focussed approach
- Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations participate in and have control over decisions that affect their children
- Protecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s right to live in culture
- Pursuing evidence based responses
- Supporting, healing and strengthening families
- Challenging systemic racism and inequalities.