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Their Futures Matter acknowledges and support the cultural needs of Aboriginal people and communities and the importance of co-designing programs and services with Aboriginal communities.

The principle of co-design ensures programs and services are community driven and led, and designed with local Aboriginal communities.

Co-designed, needs-based programs and initiatives are crucial to reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care. More than seven per cent of Aboriginal children in NSW are in out-of-home care compared to one per cent of all children in NSW. Innovative, locally-led solutions are urgently needed to address this figure.

Building evidence of what works

A priority of the reform is to implement programs that are evidence-based, have been rigorously evaluated and consistently demonstrate effectiveness. A strong evidence base allows locally designed services and programs to be strengthened or modified to meet individual, family, community and cultural needs. It will significantly boost the evidence currently available of what works best for Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities for better wellbeing outcomes.

Aboriginal Evidence Building in Partnership project

Their Futures Matter is partnering with Aboriginal communities to develop stronger evidence of what works for Aboriginal children, young people, families, and communities. The Aboriginal Evidence Building Partnership Project (AEBP) was established to ensure the service system is culturally appropriate and supports the needs of Aboriginal children, families and communities. It has two core aims:

  • Build the evidence of promising programs and services, provided by Aboriginal organisations that are seen to be improving outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities.
  • Build the capacity of Aboriginal organisations to be able to demonstrate these outcomes.

The AEBP Project does this by linking Aboriginal organisations with partnered consultancies to work together to build organisations’ data collection and evaluation capabilities. The data collected is intended to help organisations understand their outcomes, make improvements to service delivery, and build the evidence base about ‘what works’ for improving outcomes in Aboriginal communities.

For further information contact TFM.ACE@facs.nsw.gov.au

aboriginal art

Ngaliinba Mariyang – Our Future
Artist: Saretta Fielding, Wonaruah

This artwork represents our partnership with Aboriginal communities. Central to the work are three traditional people symbols reflective of Their Futures Matter, with further people symbols facing outward toward community.

Circling this imagery is a pathway that reflects the journey travelled by all stakeholders to create strong partnerships between community, Aboriginal organisations and government.

Red gathering circles upon this path depict Aboriginal tribal groups across the NSW footprint, alongside all stakeholders. The outer people symbols facing into the centre hold a threefold meaning: nurturing of our children, supporting families toward better outcomes and embracing a shared vision of great futures for all.

Aboriginal children & families

Their Futures Matter is committed to delivering effective and culturally responsive supports in order to achieve better short and long-term outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people, their families and communities.

New initiatives

  • Aboriginal Evidence Building in Partnership project: supporting local Aboriginal organisations to develop a stronger evidence base for their programs and services that work best for Aboriginal children, young people and their families.
  • Family preservation and restoration programs: half of all places are dedicated to Aboriginal families.
  • Placement preservation: half of all places are dedicated to Aboriginal children, and will focus on relative and kinship carers.

Aboriginal families and support programs

Our family preservation and restoration services (i.e. MST-CAN® and FFT-CW®) dedicate 50 per cent of places to Aboriginal families.

Monitoring and evaluation of both models is undertaken throughout implementation. This will help us to understand the impact on Aboriginal families and how they access and engage with the models, and will measure the effectiveness of the models.

There are many aspects of the two models that make them accessible for Aboriginal families. The programs are relationship-based and focus on meaningful engagement with families. All members of a family, including the extended family and the community, are involved in the intervention to help repair or build on family support structures so that benefits are sustained over the long term. They are inclusive of community and kinship connections, with the service response delivered in the home.

For more information about these programs, see MST-CAN and FFT-CW.