Generations of trauma could be prevented if governments do more to stop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being removed from their families, a new report has declared.
The appeal comes as indigenous children are significantly over-represented in the child protection system.
The latest annual snapshot from Family Matters - a group dedicated to addressing the issue - shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up 37.3 per cent of Australian kids receiving out-of-home care.
That is despite them making up only 5.5 per cent of all children.
Indigenous children are therefore 10.2 times more likely to be removed from their homes than those who aren't indigenous.
The rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being placed with indigenous carers also dipped to 45 per cent in 2018, down from 49.4 per cent the year before.
The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care could double in 10 years if leaders don't do more to confront the issue, Family Matters co-chair Richard Weston says.
He stressed that it's particularly alarming because of the long-term impacts of children being taken from their families.
"The trauma associated with child removal is intergenerational," Mr Weston said.
"It affects a person's functioning in the world, has an adverse impact on family relationships and creates vulnerability in families."
Family Matters' report says a national, comprehensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's strategy is needed to address the issue.
So too is investment in indigenous-controlled services focused on children's early years.
The organisation has also recommended the creation of state-based and national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children commissions.
It would also like an end to legal orders for permanent care and adoption for indigenous children, with a greater focus on helping children connect to kin, culture and community.
Australian Associated Press
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