Baseline Analysis of Best Practice Implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle Victoria April 2018 - SNAICC

 
Baseline Analysis of Best Practice Implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle Victoria April 2018 - SNAICC
Baseline Analysis of Best Practice Implementation of the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle
                           Victoria

                          April 2018

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Introduction
This resource presents a baseline analysis of the progress of Victoria in implementing the full intent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement
Principle (ATSICPP) with reference to the best practice approach as set out in Understanding and Applying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement
Principle – A Resource for Legislation, Policy, and Program Development.
The baseline analysis considers the alignment of the five elements of the ATSICPP – prevention, partnership, placement, participation, and connection – with five
interrelated system elements – legislation, policy, programs, processes, and practice. However, as the analysis reveals, there is significant interconnectedness and
intersectionality of both the ATISCPP and system elements. Further, piecemeal compliance with a single or even several elements does not, and cannot, lead to the
full realisation of the ATSICPP. Instead it is clear that holistic processes of reform are required to ensure full implementation and compliance with the ATSICPP’s
intent to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children safely connected to their families, communities, cultures, and country.
It is important to note that the baseline analysis has a particular focus on child safety, protection, and family support service systems and the work of government
departments with primary responsibility for those systems, and so has some limitations to its scope. For example, the prevention element of the ATSICPP covers a
broad scope of systems and multiple departmental responsibilities for universal service provision in areas such as health, education, and disability; however, these
broader support systems are largely outside the scope of this review. Another important caveat is that the analysis is based on available documentation gathered
through a desktop review and requests to state and territories for relevant documentation. State and territory governments have had opportunity to input to each
baseline as have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector leaders.
The development of this resource – and equivalent analyses for each state and territory jurisdiction – has been guided by the work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Working Group established under the Third Three-Year Action Plan 2015-2018 for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.
The Working Group is tasked with ensuring implementation of the ATSICPP throughout the Third Action Plan and as part of this work seeks, through the current
analyses, to establish the current status of implementation in each state and territory in order to track and measure progress towards enhanced implementation.

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Victoria
Victoria clearly has one of the strongest legislative and policy frameworks in the country for addressing the full intent of the ATSICPP. The Victorian Department of
Health and Human Services (Department) demonstrates a high level of transparency, publishing a broad range of relevant policies, practice manuals, and program
guidelines on its website. The Department also enables oversight by Aboriginal leaders and organisations by reporting key data to, and seeking input from, Aboriginal
or Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) at the quarterly Aboriginal Children’s Forum (Forum), which is made up of representatives
from ACCOs, the community sector and government. The Forum’s terms of reference set out its aims to progress self-determination and address the over-
representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care (OOHC) by delivering on agreed priorities.
Victoria is one of the only states to recognise the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to participate in all significant decisions for their children,
to support a state-wide model of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family-Led Decision Making (AFLDM), and to fund ACCOs for participation in policy
development and design as well as family support and OOHC functions. It is the only state to have starting implementing the delegation of statutory child protection
powers to Aboriginal organisations and is one of few states that mandates cultural support planning for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in OOHC.
In 2016, the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People conducted two systemic inquiries concerning Aboriginal children in care, ‘Always was, always will
be Koori children’ and ‘In the child’s best interest’ and found that while the legislation and policy settings were generally sound there was:
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    •   overall minimal practice compliance across the following key domains:
        • identification of Aboriginality – was the Aboriginality of the child correctly determined by the completion of the investigation stage
             (partial compliance);
        • Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Service – was regard given to the advice of ACSASS at every significant decision point
             (partial compliance);
        • Aboriginal Family-Led Decision Making – was an AFLDM meeting convened at substantiation and making of a protection order
             (minimal compliance);
        • placement hierarchy – is there evidence that the child was placed at the highest possible level of placement hierarchy
             (partial compliance); and
        • maintaining cultural identity – is there a completed cultural support plan or case plan that considers opportunities for continuing contact with Aboriginal
             family, community and culture
             (minimal compliance); and
    •   deficient practices by the Department and community services organisations, including non-compliance with legislative and practice requirements for cultural
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        planning and inadequate inclusion and engagement with Aboriginal family, programs and community in decision making.
The more recently released report of an inquiry into the ‘permanency amendments’ by the Commission draws attention to continuing concerns across a number of
these areas and potential negative impacts of the amendments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Notably, however, Victoria is the only state to have established an independent Children and Young People’s Commissioner dedicated to issues impacting Aboriginal
children, the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, and is the only state to enable this level of detailed review of ATSICPP implementation to
identify gaps and challenges.
A range of policy and program responses to the issues identified in the Commission’s reviews have been undertaken since 2016 which demonstrate significant
commitment to reforms that could address implementation gaps, such as:
    •   new practice requirements and client recording to support the earliest identification of Aboriginality including senior oversight and executive approval to ‘de-
        identify’ Aboriginality;
    •   a new kinship care model that aims to identify kinship carers earlier, strengthen connections, and better support kinship carers;
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•   the transfer of case management of all Aboriginal children in OOHC to an ACCO;
    •   more broadly, the transfer and placement of all Aboriginal children in OOHC under the authority, care and case management of an ACCO – this includes the
        continued trial and full operation of section 18 delegation of functions and powers to an Aboriginal organisation;
    •   implementation of a new model of cultural planning for Aboriginal children in OOHC that establishes dedicated cultural adviser positions within ACCOs, a
        statewide coordinator within an ACCO, development of an online cultural portal and portal administrator as well as a requirement that all cultural plans be
        endorsed by the CEO of an ACCO;
    •   expansion of the Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Service that provides Aboriginal input to all child protection significant decisions and review
        of the program requirements for the service;
    •   review of the operation of the Aboriginal Family-Led Decision Making program to improve service delivery; and
    •   the development and piloting of the Return to Country Framework which aims to guide ACCOs delivering Return to Country programs across the state and
        fund camps for Aboriginal children.
In Victoria, Aboriginal children and families are significantly over-represented in child protection and care services with 8.73 per cent of children in OOHC compared to
0.6 per cent for non-Aboriginal children, as at June 2016. At that time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 14.6 times more likely than non-Indigenous
children to be in OOHC and 42.1 per cent were placed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and kin. These and other statistics reflect that Victoria has a
significant way to go to achieve full compliance with the intent of the ATSICPP.

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LEGISLATION
                                                           Refers to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) unless otherwise stated
            PREVENTION                              PARTNERSHIP                                 PLACEMENT                            PARTICIPATION                             CONNECTION
Victorian legislation strongly           Victorian legislation recognises          Victorian legislation is strongly       Victorian legislation includes          Section 10(3)(c) recognises the
recognises the primary role of           Aboriginal self-determination and         aligned with best practice.             several general and specific            need to protect and promote an
family to a child’s care and well-       makes strong provision for                In making a decision to place an        provisions allowing and enabling        Aboriginal child’s cultural identity
being, a child’s right to culture with   independent and representative            Aboriginal child in OOHC, an            Aboriginal family participation.        by, wherever possible, maintaining
community and the need for State         Aboriginal participation in child         Aboriginal agency must ‘first’ be       Section 11 sets out decision-           and building connection to
support of the family.                   protection decision making.               ‘consulted’ (s12(1)(c)).                making principles generally that        Aboriginal family and community.
In determining the best interests of     Relevant provisions include:              Section 13 sets out the placement       promote child and family                ‘Desirability’ for a child in OOHC to
a child s10 calls for consideration       • recognition of the principle of        hierarchy, requiring ‘as a priority,    engagement and processes that           retain connection with culture is to
of:                                          Aboriginal self-management and wherever possible’, a child is to be           are fair and understandable.            be considered in determining
 • the need to protect the parent            self-determination (s12);             placed with Aboriginal extended         Section 11(f) provides that a child     her/his best interests (s10(3)(m).
    and child relationship and            • opportunity ‘should’ be given for      family or relatives, ‘and where this    and all relevant family members         Contact with family is also a best
    intervene only as necessary for          Aboriginal community members          is not possible’, other extended        should be ‘encouraged and given         interests consideration (s10(3)(k))
    the child’s safety and well-being;       to contribute views (s12(1)(a));      family or relatives. If, after an       adequate opportunity’ to participate    and may be court ordered for
 • the need to promote positive           • in relation to a placement or          Aboriginal agency is ‘consulted’,       in decision making.                     interim orders (s263(8)), one type
    relationships between the child          other significant decisions, a        neither of these placements is          Section 12(1)(b) provides that a        of final protection order (s287(3) –
    and parent/s and family                  meeting ‘should’ be convened          ‘feasible or possible’, a child may     placement or other significant          family reunification order) and to a
    members; and                             by an Aboriginal convenor and         be placed with an Aboriginal family     decision in relation to an Aboriginal   limited amount for permanent care
                                                                                   from the child’s local community        child ‘should’ involve a meeting        orders (s321(1)(d),(e)).
 • the need to protect and promote           ‘wherever possible’ be attended
    cultural identity by, wherever           by the child, family and              who is within close proximity to the    convened by an Aboriginal               There is a stated ‘desirability’ to
    possible, maintaining and                community members                     child’s family,  or an Aboriginal       convenor and ‘wherever possible’        plan for reunification (s10(3)(i)),
    building connection to Aboriginal        (s12(1)(b));                          family from another Aboriginal          include the child, parents, extended    where a child has been in care for
    family and community.                 • in relation to a decision to place     community – though no preference        family and community members            a cumulative period of less than 12
                                             an Aboriginal child in OOHC, an is expressed between these two                (determined as relevant by the          months (s167(3)). After this, a plan
Section 11(a) recognises the
                                             Aboriginal agency ‘must’ be           placement    options.  The  section     parent/s). The legislation does not     for reunification is only appropriate
State’s role in supporting families to
                                             ‘consulted’ (s12(1)(c));              continues to then list the ‘last        specify when a meeting should           if safe reunification is likely in the
promote a child’s safety and well-
                                                                                   resort’ placement as a non-             take place and how it would be          next 12 months, or in exceptional
being.                                    • a permanent care order for an
                                                                                   Aboriginal family living in close       enabled.                                circumstances, if a child has been
Section 10(g) provides that a child          Aboriginal child ‘must not’ be
                                                                                   proximity to the child’s family.        There is further specific provision     in OOHC for 24 months (s167(4)).
is only to be removed if there is an         made unless recommended by
                                                                                   Any   non-Aboriginal   placement   must for a child’s views and wishes to be    No final order removing a child can
‘unacceptable risk of harm’.                 an Aboriginal agency
                                                                                   be able to ensure that a child’s        taken into consideration in             be made without reasonable steps
Before any final protection order is         (s323(2)(a)); and
                                                                                   culture and identity is maintained      determining his/her best interests      to provide services to enable the
made, ss276(1)(b) and (2)(b)              • the principal officer of an                                                                                            child to remain in parental care
                                                                                   through contact with the child’s        (s10(3)(d)), and specifically in
require that all reasonable steps            Aboriginal agency may be                                                                                              (s276(2)(b)).
                                                                                   community (s13(2)(c)).                  relation to Aboriginal children, that
are taken to provide services                authorised to exercise specified
                                                                                   Section   14 provides   a number   of   whether they identify as Aboriginal     A cultural support plan is required
necessary in the best interests of           functions and powers in relation
                                                                                   further considerations    to be taken   be considered (s14(1)).                 for an Aboriginal child in OOHC
the child, and services to enable            to protection orders for
                                                                                   into account   in placement    decision In relation to court proceedings, the   (s176). The plan must set out how
the child to remain in his/her               Aboriginal children (ss18, 18A-
                                                                                   making   including:                     court must ‘allow’ the child,           the child is to remain connected to
parent/s’ care.                              18D).
                                                                                    • whether the child identifies as      parents, and other directly             community and culture (s176(3))
Chapter 3 provides for resourcing        The legislative requirement for the                                                                                       and must be reviewed at case plan
                                                                                       Aboriginal  and  their expressed    interested parties to participate
of community-based child and             participation of an Aboriginal                                                                                            review – at least every 12 months
                                                                                       wishes;                             (s522(1)(c)) and must take steps to
family services to provide               agency in all significant decisions                                                                                       (s169).
                                                                                    •  the child’s sense   of belonging    ensure the proceedings are
assessments, support services,           for a child is enacted by requiring
                                                                                                                           comprehensible (s522(1)(a) and          A permanent care order may not be
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LEGISLATION
                                                         Refers to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) unless otherwise stated
            PREVENTION                             PARTNERSHIP                             PLACEMENT                            PARTICIPATION                            CONNECTION
referrals and entry to integrated       the Secretary in section 16(1)(j) to       where they have parents from       (b)).                                  made placing an Aboriginal child
local service networks for families.    give effect to a Protocol with two         different Aboriginal               Section 525 sets out a broad range     solely in the care of a non-
This Chapter, in Part 3.2, allows for   Victorian ACCOs (see ‘Policy’              communities; and                   of proceedings for which a child       Aboriginal person unless there is
referral to support services.           section below) that in turn requires     • the child’s best interests where   aged 10 years or more is               no suitable Aboriginal placement,
                                        participation in all significant           they have one Aboriginal and       presumptively required to be legally   there has been consultation with
                                        decisions.                                 one non-Aboriginal parent.         represented. Section 524 provides      the child and the order accords with
                                                                                                                      that the court may or must adjourn     the ATSICPP (set out in the Act)
                                                                                                                      proceedings in certain                 (s323(1)). No permanent care order
                                                                                                                      circumstances if a child is not        may be made unless an Aboriginal
                                                                                                                      legally represented. The section       agency recommends the order and
                                                                                                                      also provides that the court may       a cultural plan has been prepared
                                                                                                                      adjourn proceedings if a parent is     (s323(2)).
                                                                                                                      not legally represented.               Specific functions and powers may
                                                                                                                                                             be delegated to an Aboriginal
                                                                                                                                                             agency (ss18, 18A-18D).

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POLICY
            PREVENTION                            PARTNERSHIP                              PLACEMENT                              PARTICIPATION                            CONNECTION
The Victorian Government’s 2016       Policy in Victoria requires the         Victorian policy reinforces the           Victorian policy builds on the         Victorian policy is strong in
Roadmap for Reform prioritises        Department to ‘consult’ with an         legislated placement hierarchy.           legislated allowance for Aboriginal    recognising the importance of an
prevention and early intervention     ACCO in relation to all significant     The Aboriginal Child Placement            and Torres Strait Islander family      Aboriginal child’s cultural
and commits to working with           decisions about an Aboriginal child.    Principle Guide 2002 repeats the          participation through a family         connections.
Aboriginal communities to develop     A Protocol exists with two Victorian    hierarchy and that the order of           meeting by providing for Aboriginal    The Roadmap for Reform includes
strategies regarding earlier and      ACCOs in relation to this               priority of placement ‘is to be           Family-Led Decision Making             as a guiding principle – ‘supporting
                                                    4                                                                                         12
more culturally competent services,   consultation.                           followed in the absence of good           (AFLDM) meetings. This AFLDM           the connection of all children,
                                                                                                                   10
including co-design of universal      The Roadmap for Reform lists as a       cause to the contrary at all times’.      policy also states a practice aim as   young people and families to their
          3                                                                                                                                                                                         13
services.                             guiding principle – ‘ensuring           This document also recognises the         – empowering children to find their    family, cultures and communities’.
The policy sees an enhanced role      Aboriginal self-determination           role of family and ACCOs in               voice and speak out about their        The Roadmap describes as a
for universal services, integrated    around decision making and care         placement decision making.                experience in a safe environment –     ‘major concern’ the finding of
                                                                                                                                                                                14
wraparound supports and targeted      for Aboriginal children and             More recently, the Victorian              it is essential that children are      Taskforce 1000 that the majority
                                                5
early interventions.                  families’. The document states a        Government has committed to a             involved in the decision-making        of Aboriginal children in care are
The Roadmap specifically              staged plan will be developed for       new model for kinship care that           process (even if the child does not    not connected with community and
promotes the role of ACCOs,           the transition of placement and         seeks to identify kinship carers          attend the meeting).                   culture and commits to the
noting the need for capacity          case management, including              earlier, strengthen Aboriginal                                                   implementation of cultural support
building.                             OOHC management and custody             community connections, and better                                                plans.
                                      and guardianship of Aboriginal          support kinship carers. The new                                                  Various program and process
                                      children to ACCOs – this will           model is supported by $33.5 million                                              documents recognise and promote
                                      involve capacity building of            investment and includes support to                                               family and ACCO participation in
                                                                                        11
                                      ACCOs.                                  ACCOs.                                                                           the development of cultural support
                                      The Roadmap commits to working                                                                                           plans (see ‘Programs’ and
                                      with Aboriginal communities in                                                                                           ‘Processes’ below).
                                      service design. The Roadmap also                                                                                         There is a stated policy focus on
                                      calls for ACCOs to provide greater                                                                                       ‘maximising opportunities for
                                                                                                                                                                             15
                                      oversight and coordination of                                                                                            reunification’ and reunification as
                                      wraparound supports.                                                                                                     the preferred case planning
                                      In 2017, the Victorian Government                                                                                        permanency objective where the
                                                                                                                                                                                   16
                                      made several significant                                                                                                 child is in OOHC.
                                      commitments, backed up with                                                                                              As part of the Roadmap reforms,
                                      funding, including $1.1 million for                                                                                      the Victorian Government has
                                      ACCOs to case manage 120                                                                                                 committed to providing ‘return to
                                      Aboriginal children living in kinship                                                                                    country’ cultural and family
                                            6
                                      care; a wider commitment to                                                                                              connection programs for 20
                                      transfer the case management of                                                                                          Aboriginal children residing in
                                                                                                                                                                                                  17
                                      all Aboriginal children in OOHC to                                                                                       OOHC over an 18 month period.
                                      ACCOs (target of 30% ACCO
                                                                    7
                                      management by Dec 2017); and
                                      the even higher level commitment
                                      to implementing section 18 – the
                                      exercise of Departmental functions
                                      and powers by ACCOs in relation
                                      to Aboriginal children on protection
                                                                                                                                                                                             7
POLICY
PREVENTION             PARTNERSHIP                   PLACEMENT   PARTICIPATION   CONNECTION
             orders under the Aboriginal
             Children in Aboriginal Care
                      8
             program.
             The Roadmap also acknowledges
             the important work of the Aboriginal
             Children’s Forum, which since
             2015 has convened ACCOs,
             community service organisations
             and government (including the
             Department) with an aim to
             progressing self-determination and
             redressing the over-representation
             of Aboriginal children in OOHC.
             The Forum is an important site for
             ACCOs to demand accountability
             and participate in, and in fact lead,
                                                 9
             policy and program development.
             The Department also launched a
             comprehensive Aboriginal health,
             wellbeing and safety strategic plan,
             Korin Korin Balit-Djak in 2017
             embedding Aboriginal self-
             determination as the core principle
             underpinning all policy domains.

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PROGRAMS
            PREVENTION                              PARTNERSHIP                                PLACEMENT                           PARTICIPATION                            CONNECTION
Child FIRST is a support and            In line with the Protocol with two        Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice    AFLDM meetings allow for an            AFLDM meetings have been
referral service which provides a       ACCOs, Aboriginal Child Specialist        and Support Services (ACSASS)         ACCO co-convenor to ensure the         identified as useful in developing
central referral point for community-   Advice and Support Services               are operated by two ACCOs – the       cultural integrity of the process      cultural support plans with family
based family support services and       (ACSASS) are operated by the              Victorian Aboriginal Child Care       however such co-convening is           and ACCOs.
an alternative referral pathway to      Victorian Aboriginal Child Care           Agency (VACCA) and Mallee             noted as the ‘preferred practice for   Currently, a Cultural Plan
child protection. In some areas,        Agency (VACCA) and Mallee                 District Aboriginal Services          Aboriginal children’ rather than       Brokerage Initiative exists to
                                                                                                                                     27
referrals about Aboriginal children     District Aboriginal Services              (MDAS). As part of ACSASS’s role,     mandatory. AFLDM is initiated at       provide funding to implement
and families may be made directly       (MDAS). ACSASS are required to            they ‘consult’ with and are           substantiation of harm and when a      cultural support plans, providing
to ACCOs. A referral may be made        be consulted by the Department            consulted by the Department           child is subject to a protection       $786,000 in 2017-18. The
to the ‘Integrated Family Support       about all significant decisions           regarding placement decisions.        order. The Program Guidelines          Roadmap for Reform commits to
                     18
Services’ program.                      including placement decisions,            ACSASS must be consulted even if      recognise the importance of            increase funding to ensure cultural
Integrated Family Support Services      provide advice, attend joint visits,      the Department is working with        participation of family in decision    support plans are in place for all
                                                                                                  24                                                                                          28
(Indigenous)(IFS) is a local area       and assist families to understand         other ACCOs.                          making and AFLDM as an action          Aboriginal children in OOHC.
network of family services,             the child protection process.             AFLDM meetings in Victoria are to     aligning with the right to self-       Targeted Care Packages are
including a community-based child       Aboriginal Family-Led Decision            be initiated at substantiation of     determination.                         aimed at children in OOHC
protection practitioner, and may        Making (AFLDM) meetings include           harm and when a child is subject to   AFLDM necessarily involve family       including residential care to assist
include an Aboriginal worker. IFS       an ACCO co-convenor to ensure             a protection order. AFLDM have        in decision making.                    them to return home, move to a
engages families and provides           the cultural integrity of the family      been identified as a                  General legal services and             foster or kinship placement, or
                                                                                                                                                                                                 29
services such as in-home                group conferencing process.               program/process that can assist in    Aboriginal and Torres Strait           transition to independent living.
intervention, casework, and             However, the Family-Led Decision          kinship and other placement           Islander legal services, including     In Oct 2016, further funding
counselling. IFS may link to AFPP,      Making Program Guidelines 2016            identification.                       family violence prevention and         ($687,000) was committed to 10
AFRS (ACCO-run, see below) or           state that an ACCO co-convened            The Roadmap for Reform commits        legal services, may provide            ACCOs to help ensure Aboriginal
make other referrals.                   AFLDM is the ‘preferred practice          to funding for a stronger focus on    government-funded legal advice         children in OOHC are connected to
The Aboriginal Family Preservation      for Aboriginal children’ rather than      the recruitment of Aboriginal         and representation to children,        their culture and community
                                                      21                                                      25
Program (AFPP) commenced in             mandatory. AFLDM is initiated at          kinship and foster carers.            parents and family members in          through these Targeted Care
                                        substantiation of harm and when a                                                                                                   30
1998 and provides intensive                                                       Following this, the Victorian         child protection matters.              Packages.
support over a short period to          child is subject to a protection          Government has committed, and                                                In relation to ACCO case
prevent removal or enable               order.                                    committed funding to, a new model                                            management, including OOHC
reunification. The program is           In relation to case management,           for kinship care that seeks to                                               case management and section
‘grounded in Aboriginal culture’,       some Victorian ACCOs are                  identify kinship carers earlier,                                             18/Aboriginal guardianship – see
using intensive family support,         currently case contracted to              strengthen connections, and better                                           the ‘Partnership – Programs’
practical assistance, and parenting     manage some Aboriginal children           support kinship carers (see also                                             section.
                                                                                                   26
education. There are currently 5        in OOHC placements, including             ‘Policy’ above).                                                             In relation to ACCO run family
AFPPs run by ACCOs.                     kinship care placements (see                                                                                           reunification programs – see
Aboriginal Family Restoration           ‘Practice’ section below for details).                                                                                 ‘Prevention – Programs’ section.
Services (AFRS) commenced in            An ‘as if’ trial of delegation of                                                                                      Recently, a Return to Country
2006. The services are similar to       statutory functions for children                                                                                       framework has been developed to
AFPPs but are residential based,        under certain protection orders by                                                                                     guide return to country programs
                                                                             22
providing 24/7 in-home support to       an ACCO ran from 2013 to 2015                                                                                          undertaken by ACCOs – it is
families where there is an imminent     and in 2016 funding was allocated                                                                                      currently being piloted by two
risk of removal. There are currently    to enable full implementation of                                                                                                 31
                           19
                                                                                                                                                               ACCOs.
3 AFRS run by ACCOs.                    section 18. This commenced in
Aboriginal Family-Led Decision          November 2017. Through the
                                                                                                                                                                                           9
PROGRAMS
            PREVENTION                           PARTNERSHIP                PLACEMENT   PARTICIPATION   CONNECTION
Making (AFLDM or ATSIFLDM) is         Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal
initiated at substantiation of harm   Care program (the program name
and when a child is subject to a      for implementation of section 18)
protection order. The former          36 children have been authorised
provides an opportunity to address    to the Victorian Aboriginal Child
concerns and divert from further      Care Agency in the north
                        20
statutory intervention.               metropolitan region in Melbourne.
                                      A rural trial of Aboriginal
                                      guardianship is also continuing to
                                      mid-2018 in Bendigo at Bendigo &
                                                                       23
                                      District Aboriginal Cooperative.

                                                                                                                     10
PROCESSES
           PREVENTION                             PARTNERSHIP                                PLACEMENT                               PARTICIPATION                           CONNECTION
An extensive publicly accessible        In relation to consulting with an         The Manual contains guidance for          The Family-Led Decision Making         The Manual and Aboriginal and
online Child Protection Manual          ACSASS, the Manual sets out a             practitioners on understanding and        Program Guidelines 2016 set out        Torres Strait Islander Child
provides policies, procedures,          non-exhaustive list of what               identifying Aboriginal kinship            procedures to enable accessible,       Placement Principle Guide 2002
advices, and protocols for child        constitutes a ‘significant decision’,     relationships and assessing               timely and informed family             specifically mandate that the
                          32                                                                                                                           38
protection practitioners.               starting as early as ‘classification of   potential kinship carers, including       participation in AFLDMs. This          Department seek advice about the
                                                35
The Aboriginal Child Placement          report’. The Manual directs               linking to a detailed document            includes guidance regarding            identification of, and approaches to
Principle Guide 2002 directs            practitioners to share information        which includes definitions of kin         referral to AFLDM, cultural safety,    meeting, an Aboriginal child’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                     39
practitioners to ensure all efforts     with and seek participation of            and processes to be undertaken            the attendance of support persons,     cultural needs from ACSASS.
                                                                                                                       37
are taken to strengthen families        ACSASS, including to organise for         including developing genograms.           participation of Elders at the         Essentially, ACSASS are to be
and keep them together before           ACSASS to attend client visits,           The Manual sets out procedures for        parents’ discretion, preparation,      consulted in the development of
statutory intervention is               planning meetings, and court              involving family and ACCOs (and           family engagement and the              cultural support plans. The Manual
             33
considered.                             hearings. Practitioners are required      ACSASS) in placement decision             meeting process. The Guidelines        notes that AFLDM can be used to
The Manual emphasises the               to record consultations with              making, including early                   also note the need for an              engage families to develop cultural
importance of early identification of   ACSASS and reasons if                     involvement, information exchange,        assessment of the appropriateness      support plans.
a child as Aboriginal and/or Torres     consultation or involvement does          and AFLDM.                                of the child’s attendance.             The Manual states that
Strait Islander. An information         not occur or is declined by family.       The Manual clearly directs                The Manual provides advice about       development of a cultural plan is to
sheet accessible through the            In relation to permanency                 practitioners that ‘if placement in       the conduct of an interview with a     commence within 2 weeks of a
Manual clearly sets out processes       decisions, once a decision has            OOHC is likely or necessary,              child, including that an interview     child being placed in OOHC. A
to identify a child as Aboriginal or    been made to pursue a permanent           consult ACSASS beforehand                 without parental permission is only    Senior Advisor – Cultural Planning
Torres Strait Islander starting at      care order, a meeting must be held        unless this would result in an            to occur in exceptional                from the local ACCO supports
intake, including a script of           with the VACCA permanent care             unreasonable delay or as soon as          circumstances (and where it aligns     development of the plan and it is
questions and recording                 team to discuss VACCA’s                   possible after placement’. The            with the child’s best interests) and   signed off by the CEO. Then,
requirements. Identification must       development of its permanent care         Manual states that ACSASS will            that in such cases a supportive        regular reviews are required as part
be confirmed at the end of the          cultural assessment report. The           assist in the identification of a         adult should be present.               of the broader case planning
investigation stage. The Roadmap        Manual sets out the legislative           placement for an Aboriginal child         In relation to legal representation,   review process (within 12 months
for Reform prioritises stronger         requirement but later states that it      and further that ‘if after consultation   the Manual sets out processes for      or otherwise as set out in
consultation with ACCOs to identify     is ‘good practice’ to not lodge an        between child protection, the             directing Aboriginal parents to the    legislation). The Manual specifically
                              34
children who are Aboriginal.            application for a permanent care          family, and ACSASS it is decided          Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service     states that the Department must
Child FIRST, as set out in the          order without a VACCA report              that a suitable kinship care              and for ensuring eligible children     consult ACSASS about addressing
                                                                   36
‘Programs’ section above, provides      recommending the order – it is            placement is not available then a         obtain legal representation,           areas where cultural connections
an alternative referral pathway to      concerning that this is referred to       placement through an ACCO or              preferably prior to a court hearing.   need to be encouraged.
support services at intake,             as ‘good practice’ given the              other CSO can be sought’.                                                        The Manual provides advice about
including to Integrated Family          legislative bar on the making of an       The Manual reinforces the                                                        developing and implementing the
Support Services. The Department        order unless recommended by an            legislative provision that kinship                                               cultural plan, including involving
may also make referrals to              Aboriginal agency (see ‘Legislation’      care is the preferred home-based                                                 children and family, documentation,
community-based child and family        section above).                           placement type and ‘must be                                                      implementation, and review.
services at any point, starting at                                                considered and investigated before                                               In relation to reunification, the
intake/notification.                                                              any other placement option is                                                    Manual sets out detailed processes
                                                                                  considered’.                                                                     for assessing and pursuing
                                                                                                                                                                   reunification, including that it
                                                                                                                                                                   should be assessed and planned
                                                                                                                                                                   for as early as possible, supported
                                                                                                                                                                   and reviewed.
                                                                                                                                                                                              11
PRACTICE
                                                                                                                                                                                          40
    Note- the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People has conducted significant review of the practice and practical implementation of the ATSICPP and is referenced below
             PREVENTION                           PARTNERSHIP                            PLACEMENT                           PARTICIPATION                            CONNECTION
The proportion of Victorian            There are 13 ACCOs that are part     The proportion of Victorian           The Victorian Commission for            The Victorian Commission for
spending on intensive family           of the Victorian Aboriginal Children Aboriginal and Torres Strait          Children and Young People in its        Children and Young People in its
support services and family support and Young People’s Alliance plus        Islander children placed with         inquiry into compliance with the        inquiry into compliance with the
services in relation to total child    other non-member ACCOs (a            Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander  ATSICPP found that from January         ATSICPP found that from January
protection spending rose slightly      similar number of predominately      family or other family, or an         2013 to December 2014 there was         2013 to December 2014 there was
from 22.68% in 2011-2012 to            health ACCOs) that provide child     Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander  only ‘minimal compliance’ with the      only ‘minimal compliance’ with the
                         41
24.95% in 2015-2016. This is the       and family services and support.     home-based carer rose from 55.3% requirement to convene an AFLDM requirement to complete a cultural
highest proportion of spending of      The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care as at 30 June 2012 to 73.8% at 30      meeting at substantiation and at        support plan or a case plan that
                                                                                         53                                                            57
any jurisdiction in Australia.         Agency (VACCA) also provides         June 2016. However, in terms of       the making of a protection order.       considers opportunities for
Of all children commencing an          services across the state and        the first preferred placement, as at  The Commission found that there         continuing contact with Aboriginal
                                                                                                                                                                                          59
intensive family support service in    inputs to policy design alongside    30 June 2016, only 69.8% of           were disproportionately few             family, community, and culture.
Victoria within 2015-2016, only        the Alliance.                        children were placed with family,     AFLDM meetings in 2014-2015,            The Commission found that where
6.35% were Aboriginal and Torres       The Victorian Commission for         including Aboriginal or Torres Strait only 250 referrals – 141 matters        cultural support plans were
Strait Islander. This proportion is up Children and Young People in its     Islander kin or other family, an      went on to the meeting stage – out      mandatorily required for Aboriginal
from 5.4% in 2011-2012, however,       inquiry into compliance with the     increase from 50% at 30 June          of 1,250 intended (funded) AFLDM        children, as at 31 December 2014
                                                                                   54
is still extremely low considering     ATSICPP found that from Jan 2013 2012. The current rates are the           meetings. Further, some meetings        (children under certain
the over-representation in the child   to Dec 2014 there was only ‘partial  highest rates of appropriate          that did occur were held months or      guardianship orders), only 29%
protection system, and relative to     compliance’ with the requirement     placements in Australia.              even years after substantiation.        were in place. Noting that it was
                     42
other jurisdictions.                   that regard be given to the advice   The Victorian Commission for          The Commission also found that          always best practice for all
In terms of other practice             of ACSASS at every significant       Children and Young People in its      the Department often did not follow     Aboriginal children in OOHC to
measures, a 2011 KPMG report           decision point. The Commission       inquiry into compliance with the      processes to refer cases to AFLDM have cultural support plans (despite
about Child FIRST and IFS              found that the Department was not    ATSICPP found that from January       convenors within 24 hours or hold       a then lack of legislative
commissioned by the Department         contacting ACSASS about every        2013 to December 2014 there was       discussions with the convenor.          requirement), the Commission
found clear indications of greater     Aboriginal child and not at every    only ‘partial compliance’ with the    The Commission did find that when found that at 31 December 2014,
capacity for earlier intervention as   significant decision point. For      placement hierarchy. It found that    held AFLDM produced valuable            only 6.7% of Aboriginal children in
evidenced by an increase in the        example,   ACSASS    attended  first placement    was  not being made  at  outcomes    in delivering culturally    OOHC had a cultural support plan.
proportion of families receiving       home visits for only 31% of children the highest level ‘as a priority,     based decision making – that there      The Commission believes that
more intensive service provision       and were contacted by the            wherever possible’. It found that not was unanimous agreement that the cultural support plans need to be
and consistent prioritisation of more Department prior to placement         all Aboriginal extended family        AFLDM program is extremely              active living documents that are
vulnerable families. The report        changes in only 23% of cases.        members were identified before        valuable in making important            reviewed by a community
suggested that the introduction of     Only 29% of case files recorded      lower level placements were made, decisions to keep a child safe, and         Aboriginal panel to ensure cultural
Child FIRST and IFS had a              ACSASS’s views. Further, there       and only 56% of Aboriginal children maintain the child’s culture and          rigour and connection. They should
reasonable moderating effect on        were disproportionately few          were placed with kin – 31% with       identity through connection to their    also be reviewed annually and
                                                          47
child protection growth. The report    AFLDM meetings.                      Aboriginal kin, and 25% with non-     community. The Commission also          cultural care plan compliance
found that ACCO engagement was         The Commission’s Safe and            Aboriginal kin. The Department        found that ACCOs were limited in        should be reported on annually by
                                                                                                                                                                           60
being limited by ACCO capacity         Wanted report also finds poor        reports that placement with           the AFLDM process due to                the Department.
                                                                    48
constraints and lack of access to      engagement with ACSASS.              Aboriginal kin is now at 44.5%. It    resourcing and capacity                 The Commission’s Safe and
local ACCOs.                           The Commission believes that         also found that there was no          constraints.                            Wanted report into the
In relation to identification of       ACSASS program should be             evidence of prioritisation of         Also significantly, the Commission      ‘permanency amendments’ found
children as Aboriginal and/or          expanded across ACCOs to better      placement with an Aboriginal carer    found that the AFLDM program            very poor compliance with cultural
Torres Strait Islander, the Victorian  reflect local knowledges and         from another community over a         does not always appear to be truly      support plan requirements – more
Commission for Children and            contexts and better comply with      non-Aboriginal carer in the child’s   family-led, with Departmental staff     than 80% of Aboriginal children in
                                                                                                                                                                                    12
49                      55
Young People in its 2016 reports –     principles of self-determination.        local community.                     over-represented at meetings,          OOHC had no cultural support plan
into compliance with the ATSICPP,      Since then, in 2016-17 the               The Commission believes that         Elders not being fully briefed, and    in the period of March-August
and separately into Aboriginal         Department increased funding for         there needs to be a focus on         families not being well-represented.   2016, There was also an increase
children in OOHC – found only          ACSASS by an additional $3.6             documentation of decision making     Again, in the Commission’s Safe        in the number of Aboriginal children
‘partial compliance’ with the          million over two years to improve        processes with regard to hierarchy   and Wanted report, it found poor       without a cultural support plan
                                                                                            56
requirement that Aboriginality be      capacity to consult on significant       compliance.                          and delayed practice in convening      since the introduction of the
                                                                                                                              58                                            61
correctly determined by the end of     decisions. The Department                                                     AFLDM.                                 amendments.
                         43
the investigation stage.               undertook a review of ACSASS in                                               The Department is undertaking a        The 2013-2015 ‘as if’ Aboriginal
In Victoria, Aboriginal and Torres     2017 and agreed to implement the                                              review of the AFLDM program            guardianship trial saw 46% of the
Strait Islander children represented   Commission’s recommendation                                                   requirements to address these          small project cohort of 13 children
19.3% of all children in OOHC as at    that ACSASS should be opened up                                               concerns.                              returned from foster or residential
                                                                                                                                                                                       62
30 June 2016, an increase from         for provision by other ACCOs in                                                                                      care to parents or family.
                              44
16.56% as at 30 June 2012.             2018-19.                                                                                                             The Safe and Wanted report by the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait           As at Dec 2015, according to the                                                                                     Commission found that the rate at
Islander children were 14.6 times      Commission, ACCOs managed                                                                                            which Aboriginal children and
more likely than non-Indigenous        about 14% of Aboriginal children in                                                                                  reunified with their parents
children to be in OOHC at 30 June      OOHC placements (223 of 1,579).                                                                                      decreased by 9% in the 6 months
2016, up from 10.1 times as likely     At this same time, ACCOs were                                                                                        following the permanency
                  45
at 30 June 2012. As at 30 June         only funded to deliver 275                                                                                           amendments, compared with the 6
                                                                                                                                                                           63
2016, 8.73% of all Aboriginal and      placements. Under the Victorian                                                                                      months prior.
Torres Strait Islander children in     Aboriginal Kinship Care Model, as                                                                                    In the Commission’s systemic
Victoria were in OOHC, an              at 2014-2015 and as reported by                                                                                      inquiry into Aboriginal children in
increase from 5.06% at 30 June         the Commission, 9 ACCOs were                                                                                         OOHC (flowing from Taskforce
       46
2012.                                  case contracted the management                                                                                       1000), it found that ‘Aboriginal
                                       of a maximum of 114 kinship care                                                                                     children in OOHC are provided with
                                               50
                                       cases. The Department agreed to                                                                                      greater opportunity for meaningful
                                       targets set by the Aboriginal                                                                                        engagement with culture when their
                                       Children’s Forum to contract all                                                                                     placement, case management and
                                       Aboriginal children on contractible                                                                                  guardianship are provided by an
                                       orders in OOHC to ACCOs by                                                                                           ACCO’. The Commission found
                                       2021. In 2017, $1.1 million was                                                                                      that the majority of Aboriginal
                                       provided to fund an additional 120                                                                                   children in care are not connected
                                                                                                                                                                                          64
                                       Aboriginal children to be contracted                                                                                 with community and culture.
                                       to ACCOs.                                                                                                            Amendments to the Children Youth
                                       Section 18 delegation to ACCOs                                                                                       and Families Act 2005 made
                                       started implementation in                                                                                            cultural plans a requirement for all
                                       November 2017 and continues to                                                                                       Aboriginal children in OOHC,
                                       be trialled in Bendigo with a view to                                                                                significantly increasing the
                                       full authorisation there in 2018-19.                                                                                 numbers of children requiring
                                       An independent evaluation of the                                                                                     plans. In 2016-17 $5.3 million over
                                       small 2013-2015 ‘as if’ Aboriginal                                                                                   two years was allocated to the
                                       guardianship trial was optimistic                                                                                    establishment of a new model for
                                       about the ‘potential for a distinctive                                                                               cultural planning (see ‘Programs’
                                       Aboriginal approach to child                                                                                         above).
                                       welfare … that upholds the
                                                                                                                                                                                       13
primacy of the child’s safety,
                                  stability, and development, and
                                  privileges the importance of cultural
                                                                    51
                                  safety and family empowerment’.
                                  The Aboriginal Children’s Forum
                                  offers an opportunity for ACCOs to
                                  contribute and co-design policy,
                                  and provide oversight of policy and
                                              52
                                  priorities.

1
  Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria, 2016, available at
https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/In-the-childs-best-interests-inquiry-report.pdf
2
  Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, Always Was, Always Will Be Koori Children, 2016, available at https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/always-was-always-will-be-koori-
children-inquiry-report-oct16.pdf
3
  See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
4
  See for example, the Protocol between the Department and VACCA, available at http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/Protocol-Child-Protection-Victorian%20Aboriginal-Child-Care-
Agency-%28VACCA%29%202832.pdf
5
  See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
6
  Minister for Families and Children, Connecting Aboriginal Kinship to Community, Media Release, 30 August 2017, available at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/connecting-aboriginal-kinship-to-community/
7
  Minister for Families and Children, Connecting Aboriginal Kinship to Community, Media Release, 30 August 2017, available at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/connecting-aboriginal-kinship-to-community/
8
  Minister for Families and Children, Empowering Aboriginal Communities to Help Their Children Receive the Care They Need, Media Release, 25 November 2017, available at
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/empowering-aboriginal-communities-to-help-their-children-receive-the-care-they-need/
9
  See https://www.vic.gov.au/familyviolence/committees-for-change/aboriginal-children-s-forum.html
10
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Aboriginal Child Placement Principle Guide – For Child Protection and Care Workers, 2002, available at
https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/dhhsproviders/files/2017-08/aboriginal-child-placement-principle-guide-2002.pdf
11
   Minister for Families and Children, A New Model of Kinship Care Across Victoria, Media Release, 12 December 2017, available at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/a-new-model-of-kinship-care-across-
victoria/
12
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Family-Led Decision-Making Program Guidelines, Version 3, March 2016, available at
http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2454%20FLDM%20Guidelines%20V3.pdf
13
   See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
14
   Commission for Children and Young People, Always Was Always Will Be Koori Children: systemic inquiry into services provided to Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care in
Victoria, October 2016, see https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/file_uploads/CCYP_-_Always_was__always_will_be_Koori_children_Systemic_Inquiry_report_October_2016_QZZbp4gC.pdf
15
   See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
16
   See http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/advice-and-protocols/advice/case-planning/family-reunification
17
   See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
18
   See https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/family-services
19
   See https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-children-care
20
   See https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-children-care
21
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Family-Led Decision-Making Program Guidelines, Version 3, March 2016, available at
http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2454%20FLDM%20Guidelines%20V3.pdf
22
   Naughton & Co, Section 18 – ‘As If’ Project Evaluation Report, October 2015, available at https://www.vacca.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Final-s18-Evaluation-Report-27-Oct-2015-1.pdf
23
   See https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/aboriginal-children-aboriginal-care-program
24
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Assessing Kinship Care for Aboriginal Children – A Practice Guide for Child Protection Practitioners, December 2010, available at
http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/Asess_kc_aboriginal_chn_cpguide%202304_0.pdf
25
   See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
26
   Minister for Families and Children, A New Model of Kinship Care Across Victoria, Media Release, 12 December 2017, available at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/a-new-model-of-kinship-care-across-
victoria/

                                                                                                                                                                                                 14
27
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Family-Led Decision-Making Program Guidelines, Version 3, March 2016, available at
http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2454%20FLDM%20Guidelines%20V3.pdf
28
   See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
29
   See https://fac.dhhs.vic.gov.au/news/targeted-care-packages
30
   Department of Health and Human Services, State of Victoria, Annual Report 2016-2017, available at https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/201710/DHHS-annual-report-2016-
17_20171016.pdf
31
   See https://www.vacca.org/about-us/return-country-framework/; Minister for Families and Children, Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Children in Care, Media Release, 11 October 2016,
available at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/cultural-connections-for-aboriginal-children-in-care/
32
   See http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/
33
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Aboriginal Child Placement Principle Guide – For Child Protection and Care Workers, 2002, available at
https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/dhhsproviders/files/2017-08/aboriginal-child-placement-principle-guide-2002.pdf
34
   See http://www.strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au/roadmap-for-reform-strong-families-safe-children
35
   See http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/policies-and-procedures/aboriginal-children/additional-requirements-aboriginal-children
36
   See http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/advice-and-protocols/advice/aboriginal-children/permanent-care-aboriginal-children
37
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Assessing Kinship Care for Aboriginal Children – A Practice Guide for Child Protection Practitioners, December 2010, available at
http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/Asess_kc_aboriginal_chn_cpguide%202304_0.pdf
38
   Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Family-Led Decision-Making Program Guidelines, Version 3, March 2016, available at
http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2454%20FLDM%20Guidelines%20V3.pdf
39
   See http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/; Department of Human Services, State of Victoria, Aboriginal Child Placement Principle Guide – For Child Protection and Care Workers, 2002, available at
https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/dhhsproviders/files/2017-08/aboriginal-child-placement-principle-guide-2002.pdf
40
   Victorian Commission for Children and Young People (2016). In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria. Melbourne:
Author; Victorian Commission for Children and Young People (2016). Always Was, Always Will Be Koori Children. Melbourne: Author.
41
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.1
42
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.30
43
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria, 2016, available at
https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/In-the-childs-best-interests-inquiry-report.pdf; Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, Always Was, Always Will Be Koori Children,
2016, available at https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/always-was-always-will-be-koori-children-inquiry-report-oct16.pdf
44
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.17
45
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.17
46
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.17 and Table
16A.34
47
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria, 2016, available at
https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/In-the-childs-best-interests-inquiry-report.pdf
48
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, Safe and Wanted – Inquiry into the Implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters)
2014, June 2017, available at https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/safe-and-wanted-inquiry-implementation-permanency-arrangements
49
   Information provided by the Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria
50
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria, 2016, available at
https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/In-the-childs-best-interests-inquiry-report.pdf
51
   Naughton & Co, Section 18 – ‘As If’ Project Evaluation Report, October 2015, available at https://www.vacca.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Final-s18-Evaluation-Report-27-Oct-2015-1.pdf
52
   See https://www.vic.gov.au/familyviolence/committees-for-change/aboriginal-children-s-forum.html
53
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.23
54
   Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services – Chapter 16 – Child Protection, 2017, Table 16A.23
55
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria, 2016, available at
https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/In-the-childs-best-interests-inquiry-report.pdf
56
   Information provided by the Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria
57
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, In the Child’s Best Interests: Inquiry into Compliance with the Intent of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle in Victoria, 2016, available at
https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/assets/Publications-inquiries/In-the-childs-best-interests-inquiry-report.pdf
58
   Commission for Children and Young People, Victoria, Safe and Wanted – Inquiry into the Implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters)
2014, June 2017, available at https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/safe-and-wanted-inquiry-implementation-permanency-arrangements

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