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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons.

The current state of First Nations children in welfare is a national crisis.

In 2019, First Nations children were nearly 10 times more likely to be on a care and protection order than non-First Nations children in Australia.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies explains that the reasons for this overrepresentation “are connected to past policies and the legacy of colonisation. Poverty, assimilation policies, intergenerational trauma and discrimination, and forced child removals have all contributed to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care.”

The current system of care is not meeting the needs of children. Children are in detention as young as 10 years of age, and they are in serious risk of harm.

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory report showed that youth detention centres in the N.T. were not fit for the accommodation or rehabilitation of children and young people. Children in detention were subjected to verbal abuse, physical control and humiliation, including being denied access to basic human needs such as water, food and the use of toilets.

Children’s Ground is dedicated to reforming the system.

Children’s Ground is designed to prevent the treadmill of children into welfare and incarceration. We want to stop the appalling over representation of First Nation’s children in welfare and incarceration. We want all children and their families to enjoy safety, dignity, cultural security and great life opportunities.

At Children’s Ground, it is the families who have been intergenerationally impacted by the welfare and justice system that are leading change.

Families are creating places of safety for learning and wellbeing for children, families and whole communities. They are empowered and supported in their leadership to create a new future for the next generation. Through this hope, we are growing and change is happening.

We are seeing this change every day.

Children are surrounded by their families, valued in their culture, language and identity. It is the community who are creating and protecting environments that are physically, culturally and emotionally safe.

We invite you to support Children’s Ground to help us break the cycle of welfare and deliver hope and opportunity to children and families.

About the author

Jane Vadiveloo

CEO and co-founder of Children’s Ground

— Posted on 09 Dec 2022