Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation appointed to implement ground-breaking pilot in Midwest Gascoyne region
McGowan Government investing $715,000 in trial to give families greater say
Aboriginal families at risk of child protection intervention provided with culturally safe space to make decisions regarding their children
Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk has announced Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation (Streeties) as the successful Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) to employ convenors for the Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making (AFLDM) pilot in the Midwest Gascoyne.
Through the AFLDM pilot, Streeties will enlist independent Aboriginal convenors to facilitate a culturally safe process that supports Aboriginal families to make decisions on how to best keep their children safe and connected with their community.
The process aims to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system by promoting greater participation and self-determination for Aboriginal families and communities to provide input into decisions regarding their children.
The 12-month trial commences on October 1, 2021 following an initial period of co-design and procurement processes.
Streeties was awarded the convenor contract following an open tender process and will assist in the delivery of a pilot focused on three key cohorts:
- Aboriginal families engaged in pre-birth planning with the goal of preventing infants from coming into care;
- Aboriginal families engaged in Intensive Family Support, with the goal of preventing children from coming into care, and
- Aboriginal families where one or more of the children are on a protection order (time limited) with the goal of safe return to parents (reunification) and cultural support planning.
All AFLDM convenors will receive accredited training through Spirit Dreaming and information on child protection processes.
The State Government has invested $715,000 towards the AFLDM pilot as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
The pilot complements a range of other initiatives to improve the safety of children, including the Aboriginal In-Home Support Service and efforts to expand and build the capacity of the ACCO sector in Western Australia.
Further information about the AFLDM pilot can be viewed on the Department of Communities website.
Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
"The Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making pilot will support families to have a greater say in decisions impacting their children and communities in a culturally safe way.
"Streeties has a proven track record of assisting vulnerable members of the local community and their role in convening family meetings under the pilot will be crucial to its success.
"In the past reporting year, WA had its first reduction in the total number of children in care since 1997.
"The McGowan Government is continuing to build on that work and is committed to supporting efforts that promote greater self-determination for Aboriginal families and their communities."
Minister's office - 6552 6600