The complexities of cultural support planning for Indigenous children in and leaving out-of-home care: The views of service providers in Victoria, Australia

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Indigenous children and young people are over-represented at all stages of the Australian child protection system. Policy and legislative initiatives exist in the state of Victoria, Australia aiming to support the connection between Indigenous children and young people in state care and their culture and community. This exploratory research involved focus group consultations with seven child and family welfare agencies to investigate the impacts, barriers, benefits and limitations of cultural support planning for Indigenous young people in, and leaving care in, Victoria. Findings indicated that cultural planning was of value when it could be completed. However, various shortcomings of current systems were identified including limited resourcing of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to generate plans and provide direct and secondary consultation services to implement plans, difficulty gathering information for plans and some Indigenous young people expressing disinterest in connecting to their culture and community. Complexities in the relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies that aimed to support Indigenous young people in care were also acknowledged. Participants identified a number of strategies to improve outcomes, such as facilitating better relationships between agencies, promoting opportunities for ongoing cultural training for staff in mainstream agencies and improving the resourcing of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver planning and to support cultural connections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-740
Number of pages10
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

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