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Strategy and action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families

 

Guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF, 5 MB) outlines our approach spanning 20 years to improve life opportunities for Queensland’s vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families by working together differently.

Our Way is a key commitment in Supporting Families, Changing Futures and represents a fundamental shift in how child protection, family support and other services work with – and for – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Our Way strategy

In 2017 we partnered with Family Matters Queensland to eliminate the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the child protection system and improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

To achieve this, Our Way (PDF, 5 MB) was developed with a vision that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.

Our Way articulates a three-staged approach to achieving our vision:

Changing Tracks
Changing Tracks: an action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families 2017-2019 (PDF, 4.3 MB) and 2020-2022 (PDF, 4.9 MB) 2020-2022 (DOCX, 4.3 MB) set the foundation for change focusing on the systems and policy settings required to achieve the Our Way vision.

Breaking Cycles
Breaking Cycles will change the way services are designed and delivered to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.

Hitting Targets
Hitting Targets will focus on a further incremental approach to reach targets.

The Our Way vision will be achieved when:

  • all families enjoy access to quality, culturally safe universal and targeted services necessary for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to thrive
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations participate in – and have control over – decisions that affect their children
  • law, policy and practice in child and family welfare are culturally safe and responsive
  • governments and community services are accountable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Changing Tracks 2020-2022

The key priorities of Changing Tracks: an action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families 2020-2022 (PDF, 4.9 MB) Changing Tracks: an action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families 2020-2022 (DOCX, 4.3 MB) include:

  • growing investment in community-controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and their workforce to better reflect the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accessing these services
  • implementing delegated authority to permit one or more of the Chief Executive’s statutory functions or powers under the Child Protection Act 1999 to be delegated to the Chief Executive of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entity
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families will have the opportunity to participate in child protection decisions that affect their lives including through an independent person or entity and the Family Participation Program
  • applying the Wellbeing Outcomes Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people (PDF, 179 KB) to ensure their safety and wellbeing through appropriately targeted investment and strengthened accountability of government and service providers
  • supporting the development and implementation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing strategy to address intergenerational trauma, grief, loss, violence and abuse
  • supporting national Family Matters in the call for a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s strategy, overseen by an independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner.

Changing Tracks 2017-2019

Some of the key achievements of Changing Tracks: an action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families 2017-2019 (PDF, 4.3 MB) include:

Wellbeing Outcomes Framework

Winangali Pty Ltd was commissioned to develop the Wellbeing Outcomes Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland (PDF, 2.3 MB) Wellbeing Outcomes Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland (DOCX, 5.4 MB) (WOF) and accompanying Wellbeing Outcomes Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland A3 schematic (PDF, 179 KB) in partnership with community.

The WOF defines wellbeing and identifies the outcomes needed to achieve wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. Optimum wellbeing means that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people can have hopes and dreams for the future and the best start in all aspects of their life.

The WOF is underpinned by the expectation that all adults have a responsibility to contribute to the wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. It helps each level of adult influence:

  • parents, family, kin and carers
  • community and service providers
  • government

understand what role they must play in ensuring the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Application of the WOF will inform policy development and decision making to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. The outcomes identified in the WOF will become the consistent outcomes against which all Queensland Government agency programs and initiatives – intended to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people – are measured.

The WOF will be used to inform development of indicators and measures for monitoring and evaluation of the Our Way strategy and its associated action plans.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The impact of the Our Way strategy on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families will be measured, monitored and reported through the Our Way Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (PDF, 502 KB) Our Way Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (DOCX, 510 KB). The progress and impact of the deliverables will be measured across the 20-year life of the strategy to ensure we remain on track to achieve the ambitious longer term targets and vision of Our Way

The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and the Changing Tracks Evaluation Plan Overview (PDF, 546 KB) Changing Tracks Evaluation Plan Overview (DOCX, 170 KB) were developed in partnership with the Queensland First Children and Families Board. Implementation of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and the Changing Tracks 2017-2022 Evaluation Plan (PDF, 924 KB) Changing Tracks 2017-2022 Evaluation Plan (DOCX, 1.1 MB) commenced in the first half of 2020.

Reporting so far

The Changing Tracks Progress Report: May 2017-December 2018 (PDF, 5 MB) – released by the Queensland First Children and Families Board – outlines the first stage of the strategy and actions to date.