State funding allocated to keep aboriginal children connected to country

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Local Aboriginal community controlled organisations will receive funding to ensure more children remain connected with their community and country while in care.

Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan visited Echuca last week to announce $13.6million towards the Victorian Government’s efforts in transitioning more Aboriginal children to organisations operated by the local Aboriginal community.

Shepparton-based organisations will be able to access funding to support reunification of families as well as finances to transfer case management of children from non-Aboriginal organisations and child protection to local services.

According to Department of Health and Human Resources child protection data,78.9percent of Aboriginal children are placed with family or an Aboriginal carer in Victoria compared with the national rate of 65.2percent.

Data also shows almost 50percent of Aboriginal children in care are now managed by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation which is a 250percent improvement from two years ago.

Mr Donnellan said it was important Aboriginal children and young people remained connected with their community and country while in care.

‘‘Victoria’s Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations do a terrific job caring for vulnerable young Aboriginal people who need their help and we’re backing these groups so they can do what they do best,’’ he said.