In August 2021, the QFCC released the Principle Focus: A child-rights approach to systemic accountability for the safety and wellbeing of Queensland’s First Nations children and committed to monitor and examine the dynamics and drivers of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people across Queensland’s child protection system.
The Principle Focus paper emphasises that reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care will require:
- exits to exceed entries
- a reduction in the duration of time children spend in care
- a short-term focus on reunification to increase exits from out-of-home care
- a long-term focus on reunification to reduce duration of time in out-of-home care.
The 2020-2021 snapshots highlight points of focus for the QFCC to further explore, including:
- The unsubstantiation rates across the state for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children sits at 64% of all finalised investigation and assessments.
- Only 194 children of the 4,822 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were in out-of-home care, were included in formal efforts to be reunified with family.
- The length of time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children spend in care (2-5 years and 5+ years) continues to be high in every region.
The annual release of these snapshots will be one method used by the QFCC to monitor over-representation on both a state and regional level.