There is a new way of looking after the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system, that puts cultural knowledge, and the wishes and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families first.
REFOCUS is providing a new service (may be known and referred to as Delegated Authority), whereby the statutory functions and or powers of the Chief Executive under the Child Protection Act 1999 for an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander child, can be delegated to a Chief Executive Officer of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisation, if the CEO is an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.
The Chief Executive Officer (or similar named role) of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisation can now make some decisions about an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child currently in out-of-homecare.
The opportunity is available in a small number of early adopter locations, including Rockhampton, Maroochydore and Caloundra, and will expand to other locations over time, based on the learnings from these early adopter locations and experience of other jurisdictions.
Collaboration and partnerships between the local DCYJMA Child Safety Service Centres (CSSC) and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisations is key to this new way of working.
Local CSSC’s and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisation will work collaboratively with children and families, to better understand their situation, needs and aspirations. This will enable children and families to be actively involved in decisions that affect them and ensure their best interests are met.