First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing (FPHW) welcomes the Yoorrook for Justice: Report into Victoria’s Child Protection and Criminal Justice Systems.
We acknowledge all First Peoples who shared their stories and experiences of the criminal justice and child protection system as part of the Yoorrook Justice Commission process. This is important but deeply challenging work and we acknowledge the personal toll on every one of you who took part.
The child protection and criminal justice systems have long been sites of systemic injustice for First Peoples. We welcome and support the 46 recommendations for transformative and urgent change to the child protection and criminal justice systems in particular that:
The Victorian Government must, as an immediate action, substantially increase investment in Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation prevention and early help/intervention services to keep First Peoples children out of the child protection system and to prevent their involvement from escalating when it does.
We are ready. With adequate funding from the Victorian State Government, FPHW will establish and deliver Victoria’s first Early Parenting Centre for Aboriginal children and families.
We have long advocated for the need to wrap culturally-safe supports and services around at-risk pregnant women to stem the flow of babies and children into child protection and out-of-home care. Sadly the Yoorrook report confirms that through unborn notifications to child protection, Victorian Aboriginal children can be in a pipeline to the justice system before they are born. We need to do better and the work needs to start today.
FPHW welcomes the upcoming Yoorrook hearings that will focus on health and education. Sadly it is likely these will also highlight the ongoing issue of ‘more of the same’ when it comes to governments’ continuing to disadvantage ACCHOs resulting in systemic failures, past and present.
For media enquires:
Chief Executive Officer
0477 622 210