VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett has called out the Victorian government for failing to fulfill promises made under the Closing the Gap agreement.
Ms Bamblett said the disappointing annual Aboriginal Affairs report tabled in Parliament last week is "not about 'bad families' making 'bad decisions'," but instead a symptom of “a government-designed system that says no when families ask for help and punishes Aboriginal children just because their parents did the right thing and asked for help.”
“Aboriginal providers do more with less and are drip-fed funding,” Ms Bamblett said. “When numbers go up, government invests without question in themselves but Aboriginal organisations with better outcomes have to wait for the budget cycle and the whim of government to see if we can continue evidence-based interventions"
The report indicates that the number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in Victoria is over 3.5 times higher than it was 13 years ago, and over double the national average. Since 2008, when the Closing The Gap data was initially collected, Indigenous homelessness, hospitalisation, self-harm rates and family violence have spiked.
“When policy and practice stay the same this is the outcome. The evidence is available: Aboriginal-led practice solutions work and work better than government and mainstream solutions for Aboriginal children. We practice differently and get better outcomes.”