The Family Matters Report 2017

Family Matters reports set out what governments are doing to turn the tide on the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care (OOHC), and the outcomes for children and their families. The reports contribute to efforts to change the story by explaining the extent of the problem and reporting on progress towards implementing evidence-informed solutions that aim to eliminate, within a generation, the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living away from their parents and families in statutory OOHC.

State and Territory governments were invited to contribute to this report. Some jurisdictions have specific strategies targeted at reducing overrepresentation (Qld, SA, NSW, Vic), or an OOHC reform agenda that includes strategies or targets to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in OOHC (NT, Tas, WA, ACT). However, it is clear that without substantial and effective policy initiatives to strengthen prevention and early intervention and embed all five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle in family support, child protection, and OOHC, progress toward achieving the campaign goal will continue to be minimal. 

This report highlights key findings on, and provides an overview of, the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia's child welfare system. It also offers a comprehensive analysis of child protections systems in every state and territory, judged against a series of building blocks to ensuring child safety and wellbeing and includes key recommendations.