The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS) unit is part of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support. ATSIS began operation as a business unit within the Office following the appointment of its Director, Neil Harwood, in August 2005.
Through the unit, the Office is working to ensure it is providing timely and culturally appropriate services to the ACT’s Indigenous communities.
ATSIS administers a range of Indigenous-specific program initiatives including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Kinship and Foster Care Service, an Indigenous Family Support Program and a supported accommodation facility for young Indigenous males at-risk. The unit also provides advice on policy and procedural issues across the Office and CSD on matters relating to Indigenous communities.
They’ve gotta listen - Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Young People in Out of Home Care
In August 2004, the ACT Government developed an Implementation Strategy which responded to The Territory as Parent Report: A Review of the Safety of Children in Care of ACT and the ACT Child Protection Management (“Vardon”) Report. This outlined a 2-3 year reform program for the care and protection of children and young people, their families and carers in the ACT. A key goal of the implementation strategy was to ‘Improve service responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and their families’ and to ‘Strengthen participation of children and young people in decision-making that affects their lives’.
The following report is based on research produced responding to key goals of the implementation strategy. The Community Services Directorate has responded to this research paper which is also available for viewing.