Rolling out the Aboriginal Case Management Policy to community
Thursday 22 April 2021: The Aboriginal Case Management Policy (ACMP) is now in its implementation phase, with AbSec continuing to meet with the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and other stakeholders from across NSW in order to support the rollout.
A positive outlook after a challenging year: AbSec’s Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 23 March 2021: The AbSec Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Wednesday 24 February 2021, showcasing the achievements of the last 12 months, providing insight into some of the challenges and looking at the year ahead.
Grants for community: Supporting our kids through COVID
Thursday 18 March 2021: To support Aboriginal community-controlled organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, AbSec put together the Aboriginal Child and Family Sector Combined Community Response Grants program. With the help of our philanthropic partners, the Australian Communities Foundation and CAGES Foundation, we were able to financially support several organisations working across various programs to provide the assistance that families required through such a tough period.
Monday 25 January 2021: John Williams is the Public Officer of the Stolen Generations Council NSW/ACT. AbSec works closely with the Stolen Generations Council in providing a voice for, and supporting, the Stolen Generations and their descendants. John reflected on the recent change to Australia’s national anthem and our country’s history…
Friday 22 January 2021: Over the period leading up to Christmas, our local state MP Jo Haylen kicked off her annual Christmas toy drive. This year she chose to donate the contributions of new, unwrapped toys to AbSec, to go towards making sure 2020 ends on a high for every child.
Thursday 21 January 2021: After a brief period at Uniting, AbSec is happy to once again be hosting the Stolen Generations Council of NSW & ACT in our office and supporting them in their work providing a voice for the Stolen Generations.
Winners of the NSW Aboriginal Child and Family Awards 2020
Friday 18 December 2020: The NSW Aboriginal Child and Family awards are held annually by AbSec to acknowledge those working to support Aboriginal families throughout the state, celebrating individuals and organisations that have made remarkable contributions and outstanding achievements to improving outcomes for our children.
Wednesday 9 December 2020: AbSec recently hosted the Intensive Family Based Services (IFBS) Conference 2020 across two days in beautiful Gumbaynggirr Country, Coffs Harbour. The annual event is attended by delegates representing the Aboriginal community-controlled organisations that are IFBS providers based in Kempsey, Wagga Wagga, Moree, Clarence Valley, and Wyong.
Friday 4 December 2020: The Aboriginal Knowledge Circle will be advising the NSW Government on matters surrounding Aboriginal child protection and aims to make a difference to Aboriginal children and families – and we need your help to make a logo to represent us.
Wednesday 25 November 2020: On Monday 16 November SNAICC released the Family Matters Report 2020, the fifth annual publication looking into the national crisis of continuing and growing removals of Aboriginal children from their families, the reasons behind it and the solutions at hand.
New research project focusing on restoration of children from out-of-home care
Monday 16 November 2020: AbSec has been invited to participate in a new project that will focus on the restoration of children from out-of-home care. This is one of a number of new projects being undertaken at the University of New South Wales, including another on Indigenous content in curriculum
Working towards a final design for guardianship support
Tuesday 27 October 2020: After three rounds of community workshops in the Hunter area and South West Sydney, we are now much closer to finalising the development of a new model of guardianship support for Aboriginal children, young people and their families.
Funding extension for crucial program for Aboriginal families
Friday 23 October 2020: AbSec is extremely pleased that all IFBS funding has been extended until 30 June 2021, with the hope of a 3 year extension to be announced after the NSW budget is handed down in November.
Wednesday 20 October 2020: Following the suspension of all face to face Cultural Connections Workshops due to the COVID-19 health crisis, we have begun to restart hosting workshops across New South Wales..
Tuesday 20 October 2020: Having an adequately staffed and skilled child and family sector is important for AbSec as the Aboriginal communities we represent have some of the highest rates of interaction with these professions, and frontline social workers are integral to the outcomes of our children and families.
First Nations input for the Disability Royal Commission
Friday 25 September 2020: AbSec, through our work with Aboriginal children, families and communities, supports First Nations people with disabilities in improving their livelihoods and maintaining strong, culturally proficient relationships with any necessary service providers.
Tuesday 22 September 2020:This is an excerpt from our upcoming report, Hearing the voices of Aboriginal people in child welfare, a compilation of the stories of multiple Aboriginal children and families and their engagement with the child protection system.
Tuesday 15 September 2020: The first of three rounds of community workshops on developing a new model of guardianship support for Aboriginal children and their families was held at the end of August in the Hunter and South West Sydney.
How we are falling short when it comes to First Nations Australians in a big way
Sunday 13 September 2020: Despite the world coming together at the United Nations on 13 September 2007 to enshrine rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world”, Australia is still falling woefully short in meeting some of the most basic human rights of its First Nations peoples.
Tuesday 25 August 2020: Recently, to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, AbSec held our Tomorrow’s Generation competition. The following story was one of the winning entries from Shayla, a proud 13-year-old Birpai girl…
Government funding announced to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector to close the gap
Monday 10 August 2020: A joint funding pool is being established by Australian governments to strengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector to deliver vital services to communities and help deliver on the commitments of Priority Reform Two under the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
Friday 31 July 2020: The National Cabinet, the Australian Local Government Association and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations have agreed the historic National Agreement on Closing the Gap, taking the country in a new direction to substantially improve life outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Friday 24 July 2020: To celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day on 4 August, AbSec wants to hear from our upcoming generation of young leaders. We invite our gifted Aboriginal children and young people to express creatively something that has been passed down from a community elder and has had a significant impact on them.
Thursday 23 July 2020: Help make a difference to the lives of Aboriginal children and young people on guardianship orders and their families in NSW. Join us in having your say at community workshops in August and September 2020 (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).
Wednesday 22 July 2020: The past few months have been an extremely crucial time for the Aboriginal Carer Support Service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown and social isolation, especially for Aboriginal communities, have kept face-to-face contact to a minimum. Hence, online and over-the-phone services have been crucial for those in need.
The growing link between child protection and incarceration
Monday 22 June 2020: Over the past few years, there has been a multitude of reviews and studies that have outlined the impact that the child protection system has had on increasing rates of juvenile detention and adult incarceration.
Thursday 18 June 2020: Voting is now closed and the votes have been counted. Thank you to everyone who voted in our Artwork Competition for Young People. This year AbSec wanted a young Aboriginal artist to create the signature artwork to commemorate our landmark celebration – 20 years of caring for our Aboriginal children, families and communities!
The road to self-determination: Aboriginal people caring for Aboriginal kids
Wednesday 10 June 2020: AbSec is helping the Mirrimpilyi Muurpa-nara Aboriginal Corporation to become a designated agency for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care for the far west region of New South Wales, encompassing Broken Hill, Wilcannia, Ivanhoe, Menindee, Dareton and surrounding communities.
Thursday 4 June 2020: It has been a tumultuous past few weeks for AbSec with news of the reduction in our funding from the Department of Communities and Justice hitting the headlines on the eve of National Sorry Day.
AbSec Artwork Competition: Vote for your favourite
Thursday 28 May 2020: We have collated a shortlist of finalists in our Artwork Competition. Which artwork do you think best reflects the theme of the Competition, “Our continuing journey”? Vote now for your favourite.
Working together towards self-determination: The care of Aboriginal kids in Aboriginal hands
Wednesday 27 May 2020: AbSec plays an important role in building the capacity of Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to ensure they are ready to assist Aboriginal children and families in need of support.
This Sorry Day, child removals remain a major issue for Aboriginal communities
Monday 25 May 2020: As the nation pauses tomorrow to reflect on the multitude of injustices suffered by the Stolen Generations, AbSec CEO Tim Ireland has renewed calls for changes to the modern day NSW child protection system to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
Creativity Competition for Kids and Young People – Winning entries announced
Thursday 21 May 2020: AbSec would like to thank all the kids and young people, and their parents/carers, who submitted entries to our Creativity Competition. We have now judged the winning entries. Check out the magnificent creativity of Aboriginal kids and young people that is out there.
Wednesday 20 May 2020: From Monday 25 May, all students, from kindergarten to year twelve, will be required to attend school five days a week. Rolls will be marked as normal and unexplained absences will be followed up. The Government advises that parents or carers of children with pre-existing health conditions should discuss any concerns with their school principal.
Tuesday 28 April 2020: Leticia Quince is a staunch advocate for young Aboriginal people, and she credits the AbSec Youth Ambassador Program for giving her the confidence to speak out, as well as a connection to Aboriginal culture at a crucial time in her journey into adulthood.
What we heard at the Aboriginal Child and Families Outcomes Framework Workshops
Friday 24 April 2020: Across February and March 2020, AbSec hosted 11 community workshops around NSW to gather your views on outcomes for Aboriginal children and families, particularly those impacted by the child protection system. We also gathered your feedback via an online survey.
Wednesday 15 April 2020: The school holidays have landed! With the current lockdown restrictions in place, parents across the country are having to find new ways to keep kids entertained over the school break. Without the usual family get-togethers and playtime with friends, this can be a real challenge. However, with the help of the internet, you can do yoga or dancing, check out some world-class art whilst making some crafts of your own and learn about nature, from all the animals on Earth to the surface of Mars.
From Dubbo to Geneva: representing our mob at the UN Human Rights Council
Wednesday 15 April 2020: Recently, Karl Williamson, one of our project managers at AbSec, took some time off to travel to Geneva, Switzerland to be an intern at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Karl shared some of his thoughts with us on the experience.
COVID-19 causes spike in domestic violence rates around the world
Wednesday 1 April 2020: As the impacts of COVID-19 imposed restrictions add a new level of financial, health and domestic pressures on families, reports from around the world are warning of an upsurge in incidents of domestic violence.
Friday 27 March 2020: Be careful out there. Us mobs love to get together, outside and inside. We also tend to live in large multi-generational households or have kin in regional or remote areas of the state. All these things makes us vulnerable to new police powers designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Important information: Protecting our communities from Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Wednesday 18 March 2020: AbSec would like to acknowledge the significant impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on communities and individuals across the world. Our thoughts go out to those who have been directly impacted by this crisis.
We are closely monitoring advice provided by the NSW and Federal Governments. To comply with current health alerts for public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups, which includes remote Aboriginal communities, we are implementing special measures until further notice.
Monday 2 March 2020: The Family is Culture campaign is calling on the NSW Government to make urgent reforms to address the child protection system’s disproportionate impact on Aboriginal children and their families.
Tuesday 25 February 2020: Our Cultural Connections Workshop helps child protection practitioners, agency staff and foster carers support Aboriginal children in care through effective cultural planning. New workshops available.
Monday 24 February 2020: Are you young, Aboriginal and a deadly artist? AbSec is celebrating 20 years! And we want you to help us create the signature artwork to commemorate our landmark celebration – 20 years of caring for our Aboriginal children, families and communities.
Urgent reforms needed for Aboriginal families in the NSW child protection system
Thursday 13 February 2020: On the 12th anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations, Aboriginal children, families and communities in NSW are still disproportionately impacted by government policy and the child protection system, as demonstrated by our Report Card.
Tim Ireland on the 12th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations
Wednesday 12 February 2020: When former Prime Minister Rudd delivered the apology to the Stolen Generations 12 years ago today, he noted: “The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.”
Tuesday 5 November 2019: AbSec and the Department of Communities and Justice are working together to design a system to support Aboriginal children/young people and their families who are part of the Guardianship Program. We would appreciate your help in our review of the Guardianship arrangements so that we can work to improve the lives of Aboriginal children.
Wednesday 28 August 2019: Storme was removed from his family when he was 1½ years old and put into a long-term placement with a male carer… There was no support from Government or social services to maintain his cultural identity and connections. “I know that my cultural plan only has my name on it.”
Wednesday 29 May 2019: Cody McGrady Miller can still clearly remember the day he was removed from home, eight years ago. “I’m still traumatised from it and I know I’m traumatised, because I can recall the date of removal,” he says.
‘Looking for a better life for children is looking at the families first’: Jade’s story
Tuesday 23 April 2019: Jade Naden is a Wiradjuri and Gumbaynggir woman from Nambucca Heads, on the NSW mid north coast. At just 18 years old, she’s an early childcare worker, a Youth Ambassador with AbSec, and a proud advocate for her people and culture.
AbSec Welcomes Historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap
Thursday 28 March 2019: AbSec has welcomed the signing of an historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap between the Commonwealth Government, State and Territory Governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies.
Closing the Gap will only be successful if Aboriginal communities lead the solutions according to NSW Aboriginal peak body AbSec
Thursday 21 March 2019: Currently in NSW as well as across Australia, the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal kids continues to widen across the child protection system. In NSW, Aboriginal children are now almost 9 times more likely to be involved in the child protection system, an increase from almost 7 times for the previous year.
‘If you take a child out of the community, you’re taking life from them’: Tracey’s story
Thursday 21 March 2019: Tracey Sauerbier wears two hats in her work with Aboriginal young people: she provides support as a Wellness Facilitator for Marathon Health, and kids come to her for guidance as a youth pastor at the local Hope Church. “My heart is for a safe community and a safe environment,” Tracey says. She’s deeply committed to her community in Condobolin, a town of around 3,500 people in Central West NSW, where more than one in every five residents is Aboriginal.
How Jill created a family for those who needed it most
Wednesday 20 March 2019: It was no surprise to anyone when Jill Bower became a carer – it seemed like her calling. “I remember as a little girl, I was going to take the little kids off the mission and put them in an orphanage, and they’d grow up and have a good life,” Jill says. “Some people grow up wanting to be a nurse or a doctor. I always wanted to take care of little kids, so it was just a natural thing to happen.”
‘Kids need to be back in community’: Amanda’s story
Wednesday 27 February 2019: Amanda King is the Aboriginal Education Officer at Menindee Central School, near Broken Hill in Far West NSW. As well as working with kids in out-of-home care at the school, Amanda has worked with Kutanya Cultural Camps, a program which gives Aboriginal children in the child protection system a chance to get back to country during the school holidays…
NSW Government continues to score poorly in new report
Wednesday 13 February 2019: The NSW Government is failing across five out of seven measures to support Aboriginal children and families, according to our new report card released on the 11th anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations.
Enter our artwork competition for your chance to win an iPad
Monday 11 February 2019: Are you young, Aboriginal and a deadly artist? We want you to help us create the signature artwork for our 2019 conference! The conference will be held in Coffs Harbour in November, where more than 200 workers will come together to discuss how to make Aboriginal kids safe and their families strong.
Our work is all about keeping Aboriginal young people at home in their communities, surrounded by culture and effective support services. So we think it’s only right that those same Aboriginal young people (aged 25 and younger) get the opportunity to design our conference art.
AbSec welcomes partnership approach to close the gap
Thursday 12 December 2018: Together with our colleagues at other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies across Australia, we welcome the announcement of a formal partnership between governments and Aboriginal communities to close the gap.
Moves towards adoption in NSW and nationwide put Aboriginal kids at risk
26 November 2018: Disturbing actions from both the NSW and Federal governments in the past month have shown a determination to pursue adoption of Aboriginal children, despite opposition from Aboriginal groups.
Kinship care is the key to a better child protection system
Tuesday 21 August 2018: AbSec presented on Tuesday at the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) biennial conference, held in Sydney. Following a keynote address from Dr Leland Ruwhiu and Dr Moana Eruera on Maori cultural frameworks and kinship models used in Aotearoa (New Zealand), our Practice Support Officer Olivia Cumpston, representing our CEO Tim Ireland, delivered a response on similar emerging approaches driven by Aboriginal communities here in Australia.
New report illustrates link between forced removal and lifelong adversity for Stolen Generations survivors and descendants
Wednesday 15 August 2018: AbSec welcomes the release of a new report into the Stolen Generations from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Healing Foundation.
The report found that around 17,150 members of the Stolen Generations are still alive today, and they experience far higher levels of adversity than other Australians across almost all health and welfare outcomes.
The Tune review: what it means for Aboriginal children, families and agencies
Monday 25 June 2018: We were pleased to see the recent release of the Independent Review of Out Of Home Care in New South Wales, a report filed in 2016 by senior public servant David Tune. After two years of keeping the report from the public, the NSW Government was recently forced to publish it after pressure from the Parliament and community groups (including AbSec).
New report reveals gaps in homelessness services for kids
Friday 22 June 2018: The NSW Ombudsman yesterday published a report showing serious gaps in law and policy for children experiencing homelessness, especially for kids also involved in out-of-home care. In 2016–17 more than 5,000 children and young people (aged 12 to 18) presented on their own to a NSW homelessness service to seek support and a place to stay. More than one third of these children were under 16.