ACT Government responds to Our Booris, Our Way

The ACT Government has responded to the final report of Our Booris, Our Way, a wholly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander co-designed and led review into the circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people involved in the child protection system.

Minister for Children, Youth and Families Rachel Stephen-Smith said the process of government handing over the decision-making to guide solutions and new initiatives has been ground-breaking and necessary.

“We know Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the experts in their own lives. The review was established with the governance and methodology co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts and key Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.

“It is now time for the ACT Government to demonstrate that we have not just listened, but we are acting to address the unacceptable over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people involved in the child protection system,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

The Our Booris, Our Way Final Report provided recommendations for systemic change in child protection and out of home care to:

  • safely reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people entering care;
  • improve their experience and outcomes while in care; and
  • where appropriate, exit children from care.

The ACT Government has agreed in full to 28 recommendations and sub-recommendations and agreed in principle to a further seven. One recommendation has been noted.

“Each of the actions listed under these recommendations contribute to a systemic reform of the child protection system in the ACT. We will continue to work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to take forward these important recommendations and will remain accountable to the community.

“We will work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the Our Booris, Our Way implementation oversight committee to establish an ongoing reporting framework that captures the intent of these systemic changes and monitors progress,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

The Our Booris, Our Way Review Steering Committee took an iterative approach to the Review, making a number of interim recommendations, on which the government has acted and is acting.

“Our Booris, Our Way has already delivered change. The Steering Committee has had an enormous and confronting task and I sincerely thank them and all the community members who have contributed to the Review.

“With their guidance, we are making real progress towards improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

But we know there is more to do and the Committee’s final report provides a roadmap for us to work together to deliver the outcomes we all want to see – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people living safely with their families, connected to their community, culture and country,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

For a copy of the ACT Government response, please click here.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.