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Families Matter - Community Partnership Group statement

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The Community Partnership Group knows how much family matters. Members of the Community Partnership Group signed an important statement on Friday 19 May 2017, to pledge their commitment to make sure ‘law, policy and practice in child and family welfare are culturally safe and responsive’. The group ‘will continue to advocate for a fairer youth justice system, in the best interest of Queensland’s children and young people’.

See the full statement below:

The Community Partnerships Group knows that more needs to be done to eliminate the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in statutory systems in Queensland. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are significantly over-represented in the State’s child protection and youth justice systems. Transition from one to the other has become a common trajectory and requires urgent attention.

Children who come into contact with the youth justice system at an early age are more likely to become adult offenders. They are also less likely to complete their education or undertake further training or studies. We must continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, communities and organisations to achieve equitable access to quality universal services and equality of outcomes in health, housing, education and employment. We must also be prepared to challenge structures and systems which disadvantage community. We must continue to support families to remain strong in spirit and connected to country and honour their right to self-determination. That’s why we’re taking specific action to make sure law, policy and practice in child and family welfare are culturally safe and responsive, consistent with building block three of the Family Matters Roadmap.

The Community Partnerships Group shares concerns that children as young as 10 can be assessed by a court to be criminally responsible and held in youth detention. We need a system that supports our families and builds the capacity of communities to provide viable and effective alternatives to detention of young people. We are committed to working across all tiers of government and with the child and family support and youth justice sectors to address the underlying causes of vulnerability experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. Together, we will continue to advocate for a fairer youth justice system, in the best interests of Queensland’s children and young people.

The Community Partnerships Group is chaired by the Queensland Family and Child Commission’s Principal Commissioner. It brings together executives from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak, Queensland Council of Social Service, PeakCare, Community Services Industry Alliance and Health and Community Services Workforce Council to strengthen partnerships and provide advice on specific issues.