Our annual report reflects on another year of advocating for kids and families
Thursday 1 November 2018
AbSec’s latest annual report has been released, showcasing another year of work to benefit Aboriginal children and families in NSW.
This was the final year of work under our Strategic Plan 2015-2018, pursuing this central vision:
That all Aboriginal children and young people are looked after in safe, thriving Aboriginal families and communities, and are raised strong in spirit and identity, with every opportunity for lifelong wellbeing and connection to culture, surrounded by holistic supports.
We are currently in the process of reviewing this vision and strategy with members and stakeholders to strengthen our work for the years ahead. In the meantime, we reflected on some of our key achievements in 2017/2018:
- Over $110,000 was provided to support Aboriginal initiatives, sporting teams and community cultural events across NSW
- We covered more than 20,000 kilometres, visiting 35 Aboriginal community organisations and attending some 20 Aboriginal community events across the state
- More than 270 practitioners and organisations attended our biennial conference – ‘Keeping it Real: Empowering Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities’.
Aboriginal Case Management Policy
Perhaps our biggest achievement of the year was the development of the Aboriginal Case Management Policy, a thorough guide to how the child protection system should interact with Aboriginal children – right from their first involvement with the system, through to their restoration to home or ageing out of the system.
We conducted extensive consultations with Aboriginal young people, families, organisations and communities to ensure that their views would inform the policy, and that the policy would empower our people. These consultations reinforced the views we’ve held for a long time: that the child protection system should provide holistic and integrated supports for our families, and that early intervention through Aboriginal-led and Aboriginal-designed programs is key.
The Aboriginal Case Management Policy also prioritises accountability, making it clear that oversight and monitoring are non-negotiable. We believe that Aboriginal families have the right to information and insight from any system that intervenes in their homes and lives.
This policy has now been endorsed by Family and Community Services, and we look forward to seeing it implemented in 2019.
Cultural Connections Workshop
We were also thrilled to launch our Cultural Connections Workshop in 2017/2018. The one-day workshop provides child protection and family support practitioners with insight into Aboriginal family structures, as well as the role of culture and community in a young Aboriginal person’s life. Workers leave the training session equipped with new knowledge and skills to keep the kids in their care connected to their family, kin, community, culture and Country.
This workshop was a new project for us, so it was a great outcome to train 320 participants in our first year. We look forward to expanding and improving the workshop in 2019.
AbSec Learning and Development Centre
In November 2017, following an 18-month development process, we launched our own registered training organisation. AbSec Learning and Development Centre provides training and professional development opportunities for the Aboriginal child and family sector.
AbSec LDC has been in our sights for a long time, so it was a great boost for us to see it come to life. Growth over 2017/2018 has been slow but steady, and we hope to see the centre grow into a trusted and recommended training provider for Aboriginal students across the state.