Adoption not an option for Aboriginal children
Tuesday 14 November 2017
AbSec is concerned over current efforts by the NSW Government to promote adoption of children who are removed from their families.
“We’ve been saying for years that Aboriginal children need ongoing, assured connections to their family, kin, community and culture,” said Tim Ireland, CEO of AbSec (Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat). AbSec is the peak body for Aboriginal children and families in NSW.
“Connections to community and culture help Aboriginal children grow up strong in identity, with a wide network of people who support and understand them. Blanket adoption approaches will never be appropriate for Aboriginal kids, as they risk permanently severing the link between a child and those factors that form their Aboriginal identity. This could have devastating effects on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of our children – we need look no further than the Stolen Generations to appreciate that.”
In the latest release by the Minister for Family and Community Services, there was no mention of Aboriginal children, despite the fact that Aboriginal children comprise more than one in every three children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW.
Similarly, in a recent discussion paper outlining the reforms, Aboriginal children were mentioned a total of 11 times. Adoption was mentioned 110 times.
“Aboriginal children are vastly over-represented in out-of-home care in NSW. Honestly, I find it concerning that finding solutions, designed with us, for our kids is not at the top of the Government’s agenda,” Tim Ireland said.
“It appears Aboriginal children and young people are being glossed over in these proposed reforms by the Department of Family and Community Services. It’s not acceptable, and shows no appreciation for the concerns of the Aboriginal community.”