Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Our Way Strategy and Action Plan

Delivering the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families is one of the Queensland Government’s highest priorities.

To achieve this, the government in partnership with Family Matters and community organisations has released Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF) and Changing Tracks: An action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF).

Guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, Our Way outlines our approach, across 20 years, to work differently together to improve life opportunities for our state’s vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. A key commitment in Supporting Families Changing Futures, Our Way represents a fundamental shift in how child protection, family support and other services work with, and for, Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Changing Tracks outlines the actions we will take in the first three years to achieve our goal. It builds on existing initiatives and includes new actions guided by Elders, community leaders, community-run organisations, peak bodies and relevant government agencies, aimed at:

  • reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system
  • closing the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing vulnerability
  • ensuring all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture

Priority areas

Changing Tracks will deliver a range of actions with responses tailored to specific places and populations to address the following priority areas:

  • Meeting the needs of Aboriginal Torres strait Islander young women under 25 years, and their partners, before and during pregnancy and parenting, especially during the first 1000 days
  • Increasing access to, and involvement in, early years, health and disability programs for Aboriginal Torres strait Islander children aged two to five years
  • Providing Aboriginal Torres strait Islander families who have complex needs and children at risk with the right services
  • Enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in out-of-home care to thrive, and re-engaging those disconnected from family and kin
  • Enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people aged 15 to 21 years in or leaving out-of-home care to learn and earn, and stay safe and well.

Performance

We will be developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child and Family Wellbeing Outcomes Framework in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, communities and organisations as part of the first action plan.

This will be a whole-of-government and cross-sectoral tool to identify outcomes, indicators and measures to inform investment decisions, align efforts and help track progress.

The department will also report additional measures on the level of representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system for each of the Changing Tracks priority areas (see Tables below). These measures will be refined and added to over time.

Graphs

 Children aged 0 to 2 subject to an intake for the first time, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland, 2012-13 to 2016-17 Proportion of children subject to ongoing intervention who are subject to Intervention with Parental Agreement, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland, as at 30 June 2013 to 30 June 2017

Tables

DescriptionAnnualQuarterly
IAP.1: Children aged 0 to 2 subject to an intake, and whether subject to an intake for the first time, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 18 KB) Excel (XLSX, 22 KB) Excel (CSV, 8 KB)
IAP.2: Children aged 2 to 5 subject to an intake, and whether subject to an intake for the first time, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 18 KB) Excel (XLSX, 22 KB) Excel (CSV, 7 KB)
IAP.3: Children aged 0 to 2 subject to a substantiation and whether the child was in need of protection, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 15 KB) Excel (XLSX, 19 KB) Excel (CSV, 3 KB)
IAP.4: Children subject to ongoing intervention, by type and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 17 KB) Excel (XLSX, 20 KB) Excel (CSV, 3 KB)
IAP.5: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to ongoing intervention with a cultural support plan, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 12 KB) Excel (XLSX, 14 KB) Excel (CSV, 4 KB)
IAP.6: Children living away from home and subject to a child protection order with a Child Health Passport, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 13 KB) Excel (XLSX, 15 KB) Excel (CSV, 4 KB)
IAP.7: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living away from home placed with kin, other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residential care services, by region, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 12 KB) Excel (XLSX, 14 KB) Excel (CSV, 2 KB)
IAP.8: Children aged 15 years and over subject to a child protection order granting custody / guardianship to the Chief Executive with transition to independence planning, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 18 KB) Excel (XLSX, 21 KB) Excel (CSV, 5 KB)

Table notes

Why this topic is important

Changing Tracks: An action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF) recognises that now is the time that we — government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, children and families and support services — need to ‘change tracks’ if we are going to reach our generational vision under Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF).

This action plan sets the foundations for change and will put us on a new track to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to an intake decreased by 6.2 per cent from 16,664 children in 2012-13 to 15,633 children in 2016-17. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people comprised 23.7 per cent of all children subject to an intake in 2016-17.

In 2016-17, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to a notification was 6,434, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared with 2012-13 (5,803). Over the past five years the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to a notification has increased while the number of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has decreased.

Between 2012-13 and 2016-17 the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to a substantiation decreased by 6.7 per cent (from 2,184 in 2012-13 to 2,038 in 2016-17).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are significantly more likely to be living away from home than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. As a rate per 1,000 children aged 0 to 17 years, 45.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were living away from home, compared with 5.1 for non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children as at 30 June 2017. The higher rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has been a consistent trend over the last five years.

The demand for placements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continues to exceed the supply of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers. As at 30 June 2017 there was 1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carer family for every 4.2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in home-based out-of-home care. By contrast, there was 1 non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carer family for every 1.1 non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in home-based out-of-home care.

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.