Strategies and submissions

AbSec actively provides advice and information on issues impacting Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities. The following is a selection of our recent strategies, submissions, papers and policy briefs.


Aboriginal Workforce Development Statewide Strategy 2020-2025
April 2020

The Aboriginal Workforce Development Statewide Strategy 2020–2025 has been developed as part of the initiatives of the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Child and Family Investment Strategy (ACFIS). It identifies ways to strengthen the Aboriginal workforce as part of the government’s commitment to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal children and families.

Aboriginal Child and Family Investment Strategy: Workforce Development Project Consolidated Report November 2019

Aboriginal Community Response: Communities for kids (Tier 1) December 2017

Aboriginal Intensive Family Based Services Plus: An expanded model of Aboriginal intensive family support and advocacy December 2017

Achieving a Holistic Aboriginal Child and Family Service System for NSW 

Far West NSW: Strengthening supports for Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities in Far West NSW April 2017

Western NSW: Strengthening supports for Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities in Western NSW April 2017

AbSec/FACS co-design: Plan on a Page for Aboriginal Children and Young People 2015-2021


AbSec/ALS briefing paper on Family is Culture Legislative Reform  May 2022

This paper is intended to provide an alternative, community perspective on legislative reforms, in contrast to the discussion paper released by the NSW Government Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) in April 2022.

We have deep concerns about the framing of the issues and the framing of the consultation questions in the DCJ Discussion Paper. Despite the NSW Government’s stated commitment to a partnership approach, AbSec and the ALS as peak Aboriginal community organisations were not appropriately engaged in the development of the DCJ Discussion Paper. We provided advice to the Minister earlier this year about which FIC recommendations should be progressed for immediate review, but this was not taken into account or acknowledged in the DCJ Discussion Paper.

Office of the Children’s Guardian Review of accreditation and monitoring functions December 2021

Submission to the NSW Parliamentary Committee on Children and Young People’s Inquiry into the effectiveness of the NSW child protection and social services system in responding to vulnerable children and their families January 2021

AbSec submission to federal inquiry into open adoption May 2018

Shaping a Better Child Protection System – AbSec Submission November 2017

This paper details AbSec’s response to proposed legislative amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and the Adoption Act 2000, as outlined in the Department of Family and Community Services’ recent discussion paper.

We put forward some serious concerns regarding these legislative reforms, including a lack of consultation with NSW Aboriginal communities and the absence of a clear strategy for Aboriginal children and young people.

Family is Culture: Independent Review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People in OOHC in NSW December 2017

Aboriginal Targeted Earlier Intervention Strategy November 2017

Inquiry into support for new parents and babies in NSW November 2017

Submission to the Legislative Assembly Committee on Law and Safety inquiry into the adequacy of youth diversion programs in NSW

Preventing Youth Suicide in New South Wales

2016 NSW Budget Expectations

Royal Commission Consultation Paper on Out Of Home Care May 2016

AHRC Social Justice and Native Title Report 2015

Regulatory Impact Statement July 2015

Senate Standing Committee Community Affairs OOHC 2014

Royal Commission – Issue Paper 1. August 2014

Royal Commission – Issue paper 4. November 2013

FaCS Child Protection OOHC Reforms discussion paper March 2013


Aboriginal Family Preservation and Restoration Model Guidelines June 2020

Aboriginal children and young people continue to be over-represented across the statutory child protection system in NSW. AbSec, as the Aboriginal child and family peak organisation, has advocated for a new approach across the continuum of support that empowers Aboriginal communities to design, develop and deliver the services and supports that Aboriginal children and families need.

Towards this end, this paper outlines a model framework developed by AbSec in partnership with Aboriginal Community-controlled Organisations (ACCO), Intensive Based Family Services practitioners and Protecting Aboriginal Children Together (PACT) practitioners, as well as drawing on the existing literature about effective family supports, particularly from an Aboriginal perspective, as outlined in AbSec’s Our families, our way: Strengthening Aboriginal families so their children can thrive

Data Processes for Aboriginal Organisations: A Discussion Paper February 2020

This paper presents an overview of the collection, use and reporting of service performance data by and for Aboriginal communities to inform the development of a guide for Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.

Aboriginal Commissioning Concept Paper May 2018

Delivering Better Outcomes for Aboriginal Children and Families in NSW May 2018

This document contains AbSec’s platforms for the upcoming 2019 NSW election, outlining the policies we would like to see parties and leaders commit to.

These include the establishment of an empowered Aboriginal Child and Family Commission; the expansion of a strong and holistic Aboriginal child and family services sector; greater investment in Aboriginal-led support services; and the redevelopment of the child protection system as it applies to Aboriginal children and families, in close consultation with our communities.

Our families, our way: Strengthening Aboriginal families so their children can thrive February 2017

The continuing overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in the NSW child protection system is proof that the series of reforms and child protection inquiries have not worked for Aboriginal children, young people and families.

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new way of working with Aboriginal people to strengthen, empower and encourage Aboriginal parents and families to provide safe and nurturing environments for their children and young people.

Caring for Carers: Recruitment, development and support for carers of Aboriginal children
February 2017

There are currently over 6000 Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW, cared for by their families, extended families, the broader Aboriginal community, and in some cases, non-Aboriginal foster carers.

The purpose of this paper is to outline a comprehensive carer support model for carers of Aboriginal children and young people across the domains of recruitment, development and support. The goal is to ensure that those doing the important work of growing up our children and young people are provided the necessary training and support to provide culturally embedded therapeutic care.

Guardianship orders for Aboriginal children and young peopleNovember 2015

The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec) released its position paper regarding guardianship and other permanent care orders for Aboriginal children and young people.

While acknowledging the importance of stability for Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care, this paper outlines concerns around guardianship orders more broadly, and offers an alternate view to promote better outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people.

Policy Briefs

Indigenous Data Sovereignty Policy Brief December 2019

This document outlines AbSec’s policy position on Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS). IDS refers to the right of Indigenous peoples to exercise authority over the collection, access, analysis and use of data that pertains to them.

Cultural Planning Policy Brief December 2019

Cultural planning is an integral part of case planning focused on ensuring Aboriginal children and young people maintain their connection to culture, identity, family, community and Country. This document presents AbSec’s policy position on Cultural Planning.

Aboriginal Child Safety

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs)

Best Interests Principle

The Concept of Community



Permanent Care Orders for Aboriginal Children and Young People



Aboriginal Child Placement Principle

Report Cards

Family is Culture Community Report Card November 2022

AbSec and the ALS have developed this report card to provide an independent, Aboriginal community perspective on the NSW Government’s implementation of the 2019 Family Is Culture (FIC) Review Report recommendations.

This October 2022 edition has a focus on legislative reform and the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment (Family is Culture) Bill 2022. It also provides other key updates and commentary on the NSW Government’s attempts to progress FIC implementation during 2022.

AbSec Report Card on the Performance of the NSW Government: Aboriginal Children And Families – Reporting Period: 30 June 2019 February 2020

This document examines a number of recent key data relating to Aboriginal children in the out-of-home sector in NSW. The data highlights the urgent reforms needed for Aboriginal families in the NSW child protection system.

Honouring Family is Culture – community monitoring & reporting framework November 2021

A joint community report card framework between AbSec and the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) to hold the NSW Government to account in implementing the Family is Culture recommendations. Future report cards are planned to monitor and report on the progress of the NSW Government from the perspective of Aboriginal communities.

If you would like more information about AbSec and our work, please contact us using the options on our contact page, or call us during business hours on 02 9559 5299.