David works with families from across NSW including Aboriginal families who are working to keep their kids with family and on-country. We work with communities and NGOs to push for reforms to child protection laws that will put children first and focus on keeping families together. Read more about David’s work on Child Protection here.
Half the kids in care in Australia are in New South Wales. Worse still, one in 10 Aboriginal children are in out-of-home care. That is a continuing stolen generation.
Children removed from their families are 10 times more likely to have their own kids go into care. Kids who give birth while they are themselves in care are the most likely of all to have their children removed. It is a vicious and unvirtuous cycle. Money in the child protection system is heavily allocated to the crisis point. We spend a vast amount of time managing emergencies, removing children and putting them into care. But that means that we do not have the resources to do the crucial things that keep kids out of care in the first place—that is supporting families and communities rather than just taking their kids.
We need a two-pronged approach.
- We need early intervention that gets in as early as possible and helps kids stay in their community and Aboriginal kids stay on country, stay with kin.
- We also need comprehensive wrap – around services for those kids that are already in care. We cannot just abandon them. We know what some of this looks like. It includes support for carers, especially kinship carers, not just in the form of reasonable financial support but also counselling and classes to enable them to nourish and support the children in their care to thrive.
The Greens NSW support increasing the leaving care age to 21 and after-care support including a personal advisor system.