It is time to shatter a few supposed truths about out-of-home care

Kirsten Gray - The Guardian

"Do we ever ask if we are really giving these kids a better life? Many of us grow up locked in a cycle of depression and pain," says Kirsten Gray in this opinion piece for the Guardian. Gray is a Muruwari/Yuwalaraay woman, a former child protection solicitor and Indigenous policy officer at the Australian Human Rights Commission, the NT royal commission and researcher at the Jumbunna Institute. "During 2017-18, Indigenous children were 11 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be in out-of-home care and eight times as likely to be receiving child protection services. This has got to stop," says Gray. She describes the fears among many in Australia that the nation is heading toward another "Stolen Generation" where Indigenous children are systematically removed from their families. "I wish that the state of our child welfare system got the political attention and action it deserves. And not the demonising, finger pointing, sensationalism that talks about our community like we are a problem to be solved, but a commitment to actually listening to what Indigenous people have been saying in this space for decades. Our children deserve better."