Re-designing child welfare practice for Indigenous children in care: privileging social futures over administrative status

McMahon, Anthony (2004) Re-designing child welfare practice for Indigenous children in care: privileging social futures over administrative status. International Journal of Learning, 10. pp. 2181-2189.

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Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders are the Indigenous peoples of Australia. There are about 460,000 Indigenous people in a population of 20 million (2.1 %). While a higher proportion of Indigenous people than the total Australian population live in remote areas, most Indigenous people live in urban areas (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003). The Indigenous population has a much younger age structure than that of the total Australian population, with 39% of the population aged under 15 (compared to 21 % for the total population), and only 3% aged over 65 (compared to 13% of the total population). In 2001, the median age of the Indigenous population was 21 years, compared to 36 years for the total population. This age structure is largely a product of high fertility and high mortality among the Indigenous population ... The high mortality experienced by the Indigenous population is reflected in life expectancy at birth, which in 1998-2000 was about 56 years for males and 63 years for females - around 20 years less than the respective life expectancies of all males and females in Australia in 1998-2000 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003). In Queensland, Indigenous children are 5.2% of the state's 0-17 year old population, while Indigenous people comprise only 2.9% of Queensland's total population (OESR, 1999). Yet, Indigenous children in Queensland are overrepresented in the child protection system with 22.5% of children in care being Indigenous (Kids in Care Education Committee Working Group, 2003), similar to national figures (Butler and Cadd, 2001). Nationally, Indigenous children are being taken into care at seven times the rate for non-Indigenous children (Butler and Cadd, 2001). As well, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care 'have far lower levels of educational achievement than their non-Indigenous peers in care' (Kids in Care Education Committee Working Group, 2003, p. 2).

Item ID: 6459
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1447-9540
Keywords: education; indigenous; wellbeing
Additional Information:

This paper was also presented at The Learning Conference 2003: Tenth International Literacy & Education Research Network Conference on Learning, University of London, 15-18 July 2003.

Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2010 01:30
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare @ 100%
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