Caring for our Aboriginal children and families
At AbSec we are accountable first and foremost to the Aboriginal children, families and communities of NSW. All our work is in service of our mission to strengthen and support these people, by working hand-in-hand with local Aboriginal organisations.
Our priorities, values and direction are set out in our organisational strategy.
OUR PURPOSE: We work with Aboriginal communities and partners to strengthen and support Aboriginal children, families, communities and organisations.
OUR VISION: Aboriginal children and young people are looked after in safe, thriving Aboriginal families and communities. They are raised strong in spirit and identity, with every opportunity for lifelong wellbeing and connection to culture.
Alongside those fundamental aspects outlined in our strategy, these are some of the things we believe in and apply to our work every day:
- Aboriginal children have an inalienable right to their culture, community and identity. These things are vital to their wellbeing.
- Aboriginal communities have innate strengths and the ability to solve their own problems, when given the right support and trust.
- Solutions are most effective when they focus on early intervention, which means supporting people before challenges reach a crisis point and avoiding unnecessary harm.
- Self-determination — the collective right to make our own decisions and carry them through to meaningful actions — is incredibly important to Aboriginal people. We need to lead and control our own solutions for our children and families.
- Aboriginal community-controlled organisations provide the most effective and culturally sensitive support to Aboriginal people in need.
Theory of Change
AbSec exists to see Aboriginal children and young people culturally strong, thriving and fulfilling their potential. AbSec adopts a holistic approach to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are raised strong in spirit and identity, with every opportunity for lifelong wellbeing and connection to culture.
For this to occur, evidence shows that Aboriginal children must be connected and supported in their families, kinship groups and communities, and that families and communities must be empowered to keep their children safe. Self-determination is at the base of fostering sustainable change. AbSec advocates for Aboriginal-led services and social systems, with Aboriginal agencies that are capable and resourced.
To reach this outcome, Aboriginal voices must be heard and represented in society, leading to broad community awareness and government policy that is based on Aboriginal-led decision-making about what works best for Aboriginal children, young people and families.
Campaigns we support
From time to time, we add our voice to wider campaigns that share our vision and goals. We are currently involved in the following campaigns and coalitions:
Family Matters is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. Specifically, the campaign works to address the over-representation of our children and young people in out-of-home care systems across each Australian state and territory.
The campaign is led by SNAICC, the national peak body for Aboriginal children and families. It is supported by more than 150 organisations as well as several influential individuals. AbSec leads the NSW Family Matters Collective, which unites supporters in our state and focuses on issues specific to our region. You can join the Collective by signing up to our email list below.
The Home Stretch
AbSec joins more than 100 organisations across Australia through The Home Stretch campaign, which calls for out-of-home care supports to be extended to young people up to the age of 21.
Currently, young people removed from their families are required to leave the care system when they turn 18. Many become homeless, involved with the criminal justice system, unemployed or starting their own family within the first 12 months of leaving care.
We believe every child deserves to be supported into adulthood and given the best chance at life.
Visit The Home Stretch website to add your voice to the campaign.
End violence against children now, be a part of changing the world forever
This campaign led by the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People is raising awareness of the prevalence of violence against our youngest community members, and asking everyone to take a pledge to end this disgraceful act.
The campaign was developed in consultation with more than 15,000 children and young people across the state. One key resulting recommendation was that there should be a campaign to raise awareness among adults – and this is exactly what the campaign contributors, including AbSec (a member of the advisory committee) aim to do.
We are an organisational member of Just Reinvest NSW, supporting them in their mission to let people know about justice reinvestment and why it should become policy in NSW.
Justice reinvestment reallocates taxpayer dollars from prisons and invests them back into communities where it’s needed most. It’s about investing locally where crime is occurring to address the particular problems facing individuals and communities. In NSW, Bourke and Cowra are pilot sites for justice reinvestment programs.
If you agree we need to spend money on people, not prisons, check out the ways you can get involved on the Just Reinvest website.