Child welfare approaches for Indigenous communities : international perspectives


This paper provides a review of child welfare legislation and services delivered to Indigenous communities in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia. While some of the issues and ideas from other countries may be useful and relevant in the Australian context, a key finding in the research is that a ‘one size fits all approach’ does not work. The paper describes a range of service models that focus on Indigenous collaboration, community development, community participation and community control. Although local solutions will need to be found for different Indigenous communities, there is a preference across Indigenous communities for holistic, multifaceted approaches that heal all sections of the community and address the underlying causes of health and social problems. Some key policy and practice recommendations for the development of better child protection and child welfare/family support systems are described.

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