On the eve of Sorry Day, the State Government is set to slash around half of its $5.7 million annual funding to the peak body for Aboriginal child protection in NSW, ABSEC.
While the overall number of Australia’s Indigenous children entering out-of-home care has dropped by 35 per cent since 2015-16, the disproportion of Indigenous kids in the system continues to rise.
Calling for urgent systemic reforms, child advocacy groups wrote to the Premier Gladys Berejiklian after an independent review had found that Indigenous children in NSW were 10 times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous kids.
On May 26 when the Nation pauses to recognise members of the Stolen Generations, there are fears intergenerational trauma will continue for Aboriginal children, who make up almost 40 per cent of all children in out-of-home care in NSW Despite this vast over-representation.
In an article by the Sydney Morning Herald AbSec CEO Tim Ireland says The “incredibly unfortunate” funding cut would weaken the voices of Aboriginal children and families at a critical time
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated pre-existing social issues for many Aboriginal families.
“Now would be disastrous I think in our communities to reduce any kind of funding to either the representative voice that we provide to Aboriginal families and kids, or to any Aboriginal service delivery,” he told the Herald.
The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (ABSEC) is a not-for-profit incorporated community organisation.
ABSEC is recognised as the peak NSW Aboriginal organisation providing child protection and out-of-home care policy advice on issues affecting Aboriginal children, young people, families and carers.