The Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles for strengthening participation of Aboriginal community in child protection decision making were developed by GMAR NSW with the NSW Ombudsman and Family and Community Services (FACS) Hunter New England District. The Guiding Principles were launched by then Minister, Brad Hazzard on 9 November 2015 in Tamworth.

The key principles are to:

  1. Ensure Aboriginal community participation in decision making about the care and protection of Aboriginal children
  2. Support Aboriginal families and reducing the number of removals of Aboriginal children from their immediate and extended families
  3. Improve the access of Aboriginal people to local services and supports
  4. Develop pathways for family restoration for Aboriginal children currently in out-of-home care (OOHC)

The Guiding Principles identify the need for a state-wide advisory group to watch over their implementation and use. The Guiding Principles Yarning Circle (GPYC) is used for this purpose.

The Guiding Principles provide the basis for starting Local Advisory Groups (LAGs) in places where local Aboriginal communities are asking for them. LAGs provide an opportunity in which Aboriginal communities have their say on child protection and out-of-home care service design, practice and delivery. They also help to ensure:

  • compliance with the Aboriginal placement principles
  • appropriate Aboriginal cultural plans are in place
  • families are referred into early intervention services to prevent entries into care
  • sourcing of suitable relative and kinship carers

For more information please contact: Donna Tulloh, Project Manager