Candid conversations helps drive impactful lasting change for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

Western Sydney Aboriginal OOHC Transition event attended by 200 guests

Capturing the essence of this year's Reconciliation Week's theme, Now More Than Ever, over 200 guests attended the Aboriginal Transition Information Session at Penrith Panthers Club on Wednesday 29 May, jointly hosted by AbSec, ACWA, Narang Bir-rong Aboriginal Corporation and KARI.

These forums facilitate necessary conversations between all stakeholders involved in the process of transferring the case management of all Aboriginal children in out-home-care to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCO's).

Foster carers and NGO practitioners from across western Sydney were joined by representatives from local ACCOs, Hon Kate Washington MP, Minister for Families and Communities, and Minister for Disability Inclusion office and DCJ staff, to engage in meaningful and transparent discussions. These exchanges will help cultivate the best outcomes for Aboriginal children and families.

Overall, over 25 questions and comments were posed to the panel, steered by the CEO of AbSec, John Leha. Experienced sector leaders formed the panel including Heidi Bradshaw, CEO Narang Bir-rong Aboriginal Corporation, Casey Ralph, CEO KARI , Maree Walk, CEO ACWA, Renee Carter, CEO My Forever Family NSW, Larissa Johnson, Director OOHC Regulation, NSW Office of the Children's Guardian, and Donna Lee Astil from Goodradigbee.

Some guests shared reflections or narratives they had heard, which may be contributing to some resistance in embracing the change. The panel addressed rumours and dispelled common misconceptions.

The audience also heard from a non-Aboriginal carer who has recently undergone the transition process. This carer confirmed herself and her teenage foster child are enjoying the newfound connection to culture, thanks to Narang Bir-rong's support and guidance.

The transition program is a major priority for Minister Washington, with full support from the peak bodies, NGOs and ACCO's. ACWA is looking forward to continuing to work closely with our sector colleagues and member agencies.

Find out more about Aboriginal Transition here.