Self-determination is the process by which a person or community controls their own life, so will mean something different for every individual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person and community.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ participation and leadership in the decisions that impact the care and protection of their children and young people will promote continuity of family and community relationships.
Therefore the most appropriate approach to answering this question is to respectfully engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to seek their views.
To ensure self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples practitioners need to see parents and family of a child as the experts in their family and discuss with them what is important and crucial for Child Safety to know when determining the best interests of the child.
Practitioners must ensure that they are making active efforts as outlined in Part 3 of this kit, to meet all five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle each and every time they are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children/young people, their family and communities.
‘We need to ensure that our families and communities are being involved in every decision relating to the safety and wellbeing of their children in the child protection system. We need our families to be able to say who they would like to be involved and be at the forefront of decision making’.
Candice Butler, (2018) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Self-determination in Child Protection Webinar
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