The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Human Services regarding a support program for Aboriginal families in South Australia. Can the minister please provide an update to the council about how this pilot program will help Aboriginal families with complex needs?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:37): I thank the honourable member for her question. I am very pleased that the second pilot program in the families section within my department has been announced, the first one being the northern pilot being run by Anglicare. More recently, we have announced that $2.2 million will be provided to Kornar Winmil Yunti to provide this intensive support program, specifically designed for Aboriginal families and run by what is known as an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation in Adelaide's west with the aim of keeping families together.
Recognising that families in Adelaide's western suburbs need support, this pilot will help families so that their children grow up safely and stay connected to community and culture. KWY Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Services will codesign the program. They and their CEO Craig Rigney would be well-known to a number of members of the chamber, as they are already running domestic violence and family services and receive state and commonwealth funding for those programs.
They will codesign the program with input from Aboriginal community members and other government and non-government stakeholders over the next six months and then it will be delivered over two years. The new program will be tailored to provide intensive, culturally-led support for Aboriginal families who may struggle with child neglect, homelessness, family violence, drugs, alcohol and mental health. The new pilot will allow social workers to work with families on a 24/7 basis in their home environment to help them manage issues and improve overall family functioning, with the aim of keeping families together if it is safe to do so.
What we know from the research by the Early Intervention Research Directorate is that programs, in order to make them more effective, need to be more intensive and intervene earlier, and this is consistent with that model. This pilot forms part of the statewide child and family support system that we are currently in the process of designing in the long-term expectation that more children will be able to live safely together with their families at home. We are also, within this process, committed to the Family Matters principles and supporting the development of Aboriginal governance organisations and front-line workers.
We know that particularly, according to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, Aboriginal children are more likely to be involved in child protection services, and that is a sad situation that the government is very keen to correct. Through this codesign process, working with an esteemed local South Australian organisation, we are hoping that families will be more connected and that children will be raised in those supportive environments and that we will enable children to be kept in their families rather than entering the child protection system.