Acting on their words

Statement by the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare

Today the Commission for Children and Young People released the In Our Own Words report, which details the significant challenges for out-of-home care based on the experiences of more than 200 children and young people of foster, kinship and residential care in Victoria, including 80 Aboriginal children and young people.

Nothing is more important than listening to the voices of children and young people, even when it is challenging to hear. The report by the Commission has highlighted difficult aspects of out-of-home care, including disruption caused by frequently changing placements, workers or carers. When the system is under such strain, children and young people do not receive the care they need and deserve. 

Out-of-home care is difficult for children, young people and their families. The trauma of separation and impact of interruption can have significant and ongoing effects, which is why we support sustained and long-term investment in targeted early intervention programs that would help families stay together safely. This is especially important for keeping Aboriginal children and young people connected to their families, community and culture.

We commend the Commissioner for Children and Young People Liana Buchanan and Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People Justin Mohamed for their work in tabling this report. This is a powerful opportunity to demonstrate to children and young people in out-of-home care that they are heard, that we are listening and that we will act on their words. 

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