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Muriel Bamblett, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency - Child protection in Aboriginal communities

Muriel Bamblett, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency - Child protection in Aboriginal communities



Muriel Bamblett, CEO, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency delivered this presentation at the Child Protection Forum 2013. ...

Muriel Bamblett, CEO, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency delivered this presentation at the Child Protection Forum 2013.

Muriel spoke about family violence prevention, children's counseling and therapy, and aboriginal children in out-of-home care.

Find out more at http://www.informa.com.au/childprotectionforum2013



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    Muriel Bamblett, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency - Child protection in Aboriginal communities Muriel Bamblett, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency - Child protection in Aboriginal communities Presentation Transcript

    • Child Protection in Aboriginal Communities Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett CEO VACCA
    • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) established in 1977 as an Aboriginal community controlled and operated service. VACCA’s objectives include •The preservation, strengthening and protection of the cultural and spiritual identity of Aboriginal children •Provision of culturally appropriate and quality services which are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal communities The Late Auntie Mollie Dyer - VACCA Founder
    • Aboriginal advocacy through the years • Aboriginal struggle to keep our children • The setting-up of ACCAs • Aboriginal Placement Principle • The right to culture and identity (UN CROC Art. 30) • Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody • Bringing them Home - Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families • The present day – varied and diverse response to the needs of children
    • VACCA’s Service Continuum Good enough Parenting Early Intervention Support At Risk Prevention Referral and resource Cultural activities Close the Gap Early warning signs Child truancy Family breakdown Problem identified Parent-child conflict Relationship stress Family violence Significant problem identified Child at risk of removal Child already removed
    • Aboriginal children in Victoria Victoria is home to 6.4% of Australia’s Aboriginal children. Aboriginal children are: •1.2% of all Victoria’s children. There are 14,578 Aboriginal children (ages 0-17) living in Victoria. •15.8% of children on protection orders. There are 1150 children on Protection Orders, 840 on custody or guardianship orders •16.5% of all children in out of home care. There are 1,028 Aboriginal children in out of home care in Victoria •Over the past ten-years the rate of Aboriginal children in OOHC has grown 20 times faster than overall population growth •Rate of growth of Aboriginal children in OOHC has been significant across all age groups – in 12 months to 30 June 2012 there were 535 Aboriginal children were placed in OOHC and 257 exited care (these were children that were in care for one month or more) •Aboriginal children are staying in care longer
    • Rate of Indigenous (ATSI) in OOHC vs Rate of Non Indigenous 6 507 531 526 552 626 660 734 816 877 1 028 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 As at 30 June Aboriginal Children 2003 - 2012 103% increase Source Report on Government Services 2013 (data), Victorian Department of Human Services (analysis) Number of children in out-of-home care is the number of children aged 0-17 years as at 30 June each year. ‘Non Aboriginal’ includes children whose Aboriginality is unknown. 3 539 3 778 3 882 4 242 4 426 4 396 4 549 4 653 4 801 5 179 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 As at 30 June Non Aboriginal Children 2003 - 2012 46% increase Data Context Number of Children in Out-of-home Care as at 30 June
    • Growth from 2002 to 2011 by Age Group 38% 63% 52% 39% 69% 100% 184% 149% 75% 205% 30% 47% 39% 35% 61% 0% 50% 100% 150% 200% 250% <1 01 - 04 05 - 09 10 - 14 15 - 17 All Aboriginal Non Aboriginal
    • Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children The risk factors for parents, families or caregivers were identified as: • Family stress higher than other Aboriginal households in Australia and twice that for non-Aboriginal households; • Family violence • Mental illness, serious illness and alcohol and drug related problems • Higher levels of illicit drug use • Higher levels of psychological distress • Three times the level of unemployment when comparing both parents unemployed • 20% of Aboriginal households run out of food on a weekly basis and can’t buy more • Year 12 completion rates for parents is double that for all families in Australia • Teenage pregnancy rate is 4.5 times higher than for non-Aboriginal women. Source: Report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry (2012)
    • Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Risk factors associated with children included: • Lower birth weights • Higher proportions of ear and dental health problems • Aboriginal children twice as likely to need assistance with core activities ( a proxy measure for disability) Source: Report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry (2012)
    • Aboriginal over representation Child Protection operation: Overly interventionalist, Western constructs of child welfare, cultural factors, impact colonisation, racist and discriminatory Cultural Difference, powerlessness, cultural violence and racism Socio- economic elements Socio economic status, disadvantage, entrenched poverty, dispossession and marginalisation
    • Legacy of past policies The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (1997) report, Bringing Them Home, concluded that some of the underlying causes for the poor outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for the over-representation of children in child protection and out-of-home care were: •the legacy of past policies of forced removal and cultural assimilation; •intergenerational effects of forced removals; and •cultural differences in child-rearing practices. Key individual, family and community problems associated with unresolved trauma include: •Alcohol and drug abuse •Family Violence •Overcrowded, inadequate housing and homelessness
    • Percentage breakdown of primary substantiated maltreatment types in 2011- 12 Indigenous and non-Indigenous children
    • Cycle of poverty/disadvantage Rent Income Employment Education Skills & Knowledge Health and particular pattern of child rearing Home House
    • Culture is in the best interests of the child Children’s cultural identity is the key facet of their development. Any definition of the rights of children, and any criteria which seek to determine what is in the best interests of the child, must recognise the right to culture as formative for identity and therefore that maintenance of cultural identity is in the best interests of the child.
    • Rituals Dance Food Travel Rights Shelter Clothes Social Rules Marriage Relationships Learning Language EconomyLore Storytelling Family Beliefs Values Land Spirituality Importance of Land when speaking of culture
    • Wominjeka Aboriginal Children's Cultural Festival
    • Early Literacy Bags
    • Knowing who you are Being proud Telling who you are Sharing your story Beautiful Sacred This is your identity Auntie Joy Murphy
    • The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
    • For Aboriginal parents & families to be: • Strong in their culture • Strong in their family relationships • Strong in their Aboriginal childrearing practices • Involved in their community • Have their children grow up to be resilient to drug misuse What is the vision for the Koorie FACєS Program?
    • Program Outcomes The program helps Koorie families and carers of Koorie kids to • Share information about how our past affects us today • Look at ways of being a strong Koorie • Explore ways of raising culturally strong healthy young fellas • Increase confidence to deal with issues within the family • Develop ways of connecting and sharing with young fellas • Come up with ideas about how to deal with the tough stuff like losing a family member • Explore ways of dealing with conflict in the family • Share ideas about dealing with young fellas challenging behaviours • Get useful ideas about how to talk to young fellas about alcohol and drug misuse • Understand the changes that young fella’s may be experiencing
    • Verbal comments from participants in relation to changes with their young fellas and in their families after participating in the program: “My approach has changed” “I’m resolving issues as they arise” “I’m staying calm when speaking to him when he’s angry” “I learnt to deal with racism, not to let it upset me and deal with it in a different way” “I learnt about communicating instead of yelling/screaming” “I’m going to be stronger and speak up more” Feedback from Focus groups
    • “I’m going to teach cultural values such as respect” “I’m not going to yell, I’m going to talk” “I’m talking more and getting on better” “I’ve lowered my tone of voice and the words I’m using” “I’m working out better ways of dealing with problems” “I have learnt to listen more to my daughter’s needs and views” “Communication has improved and I am more confident in speaking my mind to him without fear” Feedback from focus groups
    • My Cultural Journey A Framework for the journey of Aboriginal children through care: Culture Identity Developmental needs A record of a child’s formative years
    • In closing • First half last century - purpose to destroy Aboriginal culture and communities • Emphasis in child welfare to be on ecological approaches to address underlying causes of abuse and neglect • Now have better ways of caring for Aboriginal children in OOHC • Pursuit of cultural rights • VACCA as key driver of innovation and reform