Ongoing Stolen Generations: Alice Springs Grandmothers meet with Territory Families Minister

From the Strong Grandmothers group from the Central Desert Region

Ongoing Stolen Generations: Alice Springs Grandmothers meet with Territory Families Minister

We thank the Minister for taking the time to meet with us today. For sitting down and listening to what we say. We look forward to continuing to meet with Minister Wakefield.
Here is the letter we presented to her today

Thursday 17 May 2018
Dear Minister Wakefield
We want our kids back in our care. Our kinship systems must be recognised. We
know you are a part of the Family Matters Campaign and we are calling on you to
enact a Territory wide restoration program to bring our children home.

We want to know the current statistics: How many children in care? How many
children in detention? How many of those children are on remand? How many
residential care houses? How may children in each house? How many in kinship
care? How many kids have been taken interstate? Ratio of staff to children? With a
breakdown of which kids are Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal and which locations.
There needs to be case reviews for all Aboriginal children in state care with the view
that those children are restored to their families.

We are aware that it is 10 bed facility and that it overcapacity. This is on your watch.
We are aware that the vast majority of children are held on remand. There needs to
be bail reviews for all children held on remand so they can be bailed to appropriate
family according to our kinship system.

Where funding is allocated needs to be re-assessed. There are many unskilled
people working with our children. This is not good enough. The bail accomodation
is not working. Our children are getting locked up due to the inability of bail
accomodation and welfare staff to care for our kids. We want aboriginal identified
professional workers around the clock. These staff don’t understand our community
they don’t understand our language.

We know that Loves Creek station is vacant. We want funding allocated for taking
our children out to Country.

Minister you need to be responsible for the allocation of funds, and the processes of
diversionary programs, bail accomodation and welfare houses.

We are aware that you are having meetings about the Royal Commission
recommendations without family involvement. Excluding us from these meeting
continues the systematic abuse of our families.

We are asking you to commit to case reviews for all kids held in welfare, with a view
to restore children to family according to our kinship systems.

We are asking you to commit to bail reviews for all kids held on remand, with a view
to restore children to family according to our kinship systems.

We are asking you to commit to a re-assessment of the funding and staff allocation
for bail and welfare houses. They have a high turnover of unskilled staff that are
completely inappropriate for looking after our kids.

We are asking for you to commit to funding to support children and families to be
out on country.

We are asking you to make positions for Aboriginal staff that understand our community and speak our language.

We are asking you to commit to involve our families in the decision making
processes concerning us.

Decision making processes regarding our affairs must be community controlled and
self-determined.

We are heading to Canberra to call for a national restoration program to bring our
children home. This is an ongoing Stolen Generation and you are the Minister
responsible here in the NT.

Sincerely
Strong Grandmothers of the Central Desert Region

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