Mirrabooka Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making pilot underway
Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk has announced Wungening Aboriginal Corporation (Wungening) as the successful Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) for the Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making (AFLDM) pilot in Mirrabooka.
Through the pilot, Wungening will enlist independent Aboriginal convenors to facilitate a culturally safe process that supports Aboriginal families to make decisions about how to best keep their children safe and connected with their community.
AFLDM aims to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system by promoting greater participation and self-determination for Aboriginal families and to provide input into decisions regarding their children.
The trial commenced following an initial period of co-design and procurement. The Mirrabooka announcement follows the recent appointment of Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation to deliver the regional pilot in the Mid-West Gascoyne.
Wungening was awarded the convenor contract following an open tender process and will assist in the delivery of a pilot focused on three key cohorts:
Aboriginal families engaged in pre-birth planning with the goal of preventing infants from coming into care;
Aboriginal families engaged in Intensive Family Support, with the goal of preventing children from coming into care, and
Aboriginal families where one or more of the children are on a protection order (time limited) with the goal of safe return to parents (reunification and cultural support planning).
All AFLDM convenors will receive accredited training through Spirit Dreaming as well as information on child protection processes.
The State Government has invested $715,000 towards the AFLDM pilot as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
The pilot complements a range of other early intervention and family support initiatives.
In May of this year, the State Government committed $10.3 million in funding to extend the Aboriginal In-Home Support Service (AISS), led by Wungening, for a further two years.
AISS works with families to build their capacity to support their children, respond to stressful situations, deal with behavioural issues and overcome trauma.
It provides intensive in-home practical support to Aboriginal families to address safety issues, keep children safely at home and reunify children with their parents.
The program operates under the State Government’s Earlier Intervention and Family Support (EIFS) Strategy and contributes to the implementation and achievement of a number of government priorities, including the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and Target 120 program.
Further information about the AFLDM pilot can be viewed on the Department of Communities website.
“The Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making pilot works to keep children safe and support Aboriginal families to have a greater say in decision making about their children.
“Wungening Aboriginal Corporation is already achieving significant results in child protection in the early intervention space and the AFLDM pilot is another opportunity to boost self-determination and implement greater support to Aboriginal families in the Mirrabooka area.
“The pilot aims to support 30 families across the three identified cohorts, with a view to establishing culturally safe practices in planning and decision making.” said Minister for Child Protection Simone McGurk.