Aboriginal children in care

The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle provides a basis for helping our kids to gain resilience and an understanding of where they come from.

Maintaining connections with family and culture are vital in building a child's identity. 

  • Transitioning Aboriginal children and young people to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations

    The Victorian Government, in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and non-Aboriginal Community Service Organisations (CSOs) is committed to advancing Aboriginal self-management and self-determination for Aboriginal people in Victoria.

    This includes a commitment to gradually transition the care and case management of Aboriginal children from government and non-Aboriginal organisations to ACCOs.

    This change is an important step in achieving self-determination for Aboriginal communities and aims to provide better outcomes for all Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care, by engaging culturally safe and connected supports.

    Transitioning Aboriginal children and young people to ACCOs (word).

    Changes to the care and case management of Aboriginal children involved with Child Protection  - fact sheet for carers (word).

    Changes to the care and case management of Aboriginal children - fact sheet for Community Service Organisations (word).

    Questions and answers to support conversations with Aboriginal families (word).

  • Aboriginal Child Placement Principle Guide 2002

    The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle Guide was developed from issues highlighted in consultations undertaken by the Department of Human Services to review the operation of the 1992 Protocol between the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) and the Child Protection Program within the Department of Human Services.

    The Children Youth and Families Act 2005 includes the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles and this guide is useful to learn more about that principle.

    What's the purpose of the principle?

    The principle, accepted and endorsed by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), defines the process of ensuring that, Aboriginal community representatives are consulted and involved in the decision making regarding the care arrangements for Aboriginal children and young people. Specific attention is paid to Aboriginal children and young people, who are separated from their family.

    The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle also supports the importance of increased and ongoing involvement and control by Aboriginal people in Aboriginal child and family welfare and child protection matters.

    What's the purpose of the guide?

    This guide assists workers in Child Protection and Placement Services to provide a culturally appropriate and effective response to Aboriginal children and young people who need to be placed out of home.

    The guide has been designed to sit alongside the protocol between the department's Child Protection Service and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency 2002, to assist workers in Child Protection, the Aboriginal Child Specialist Advise and Support Services (ACSASS), and Placement Services. This is to ensure that Aboriginal children and young people who need to be placed out-of-home remain connected to their family, community and culture.

    Issues raised in this guide are:

    • What is the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle?
    • Why do we need an Aboriginal Child Placement Principle?
    • What is the definition of an Aboriginal child for the purposes of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle?
    • Does the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle take away parents rights regarding their own children?
    • Can a parent request that their Aboriginal child be placed outside the Principle?
    • When placing an Aboriginal child who should be consulted?
    • Who will measure compliance with the standards set out in the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle?
    • How will the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle affect my day-to-day practice when working with Aboriginal children, young people and families?

    ADDENDUM: Figures on pages 9 and 10 have been updated according to 2002 AIHW data.

    Aboriginal Child Placement Principle Guide 2002 (pdf)

  • Aboriginal therapeutic home based care program and funding guidelines

    These program and funding guidelines assist Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) funded to deliver Aboriginal therapeutic home based care.

    In recognition of the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle, section 13 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, as well as ACCOs' preference to build therapeutic capacity across their out-of-home care system, Aboriginal therapeutic home based care is inclusive of foster and kinship care placements.

    The overall objective of this program is to enhance therapeutic care for Aboriginal children and young people in foster and kinship care placements. This is achieved through the enhanced capacity of care teams and staff to deliver a trauma-informed therapeutic response to children and young people.

    Aboriginal therapeutic home based care program and funding guidelines (word)

  • Program requirements for the Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Program

    This program requirement document is intended to sit alongside respective funding agreements between the department and both the Mildura Aboriginal Corporation and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

    This edition of the program requirements is a modest update of the funding arrangements and service description document published in 2008.

    We would like to acknowledge the Mildura Aboriginal Corporation and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency for their input into the 2008 edition.

    Program requirements for Aboriginal child specialist advice and support (word).

  • Program requirements for Aboriginal Family Decision Making Program

    Aboriginal Family Decision Making Program is an approach to decision making and planning for Aboriginal children subject to Child Protection intervention where abuse has been substantiated.

    Aboriginal Family Decision Making Program is guided by cultural tradition, actively involves the child’s family and Aboriginal community and is grounded in a partnership between regional Child Protection and the local Aboriginal community.

    Requirements for the Aboriginal Family Decision Making Program (word).

  • Program requirements for Aboriginal Family Preservation and Restoration Program

    The Aboriginal Family Preservation and Restoration Program aims to decrease the need for Aboriginal children to receive out-of-home care by increasing the parenting and life skills of Aboriginal parents and families.

    They help reunify Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home placements with their families, as well as helping Aboriginal families to manage their own lifestyles and assist them in crisis situations.

    Requirements for the Aboriginal Family Preservation and Restoration Program (word).

    Aboriginal Family Preservation and Restoration Program fact sheet (pdf).