The Hon. HELEN SHAM-HO: My question is directed to the Minister for Juvenile Justice, representing the Minister for Community Services. Is it a fact that some Aboriginal children who go into care are still not placed with Aboriginal carers? If so, what steps will the Department of Community Services take to ensure that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and young person placement principle, which is enacted in the Children and Young Person's (Care and Protection) Act 1998, is implemented as soon as possible? Given the appalling record in New South Wales of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families, and the fact that Aboriginal children go into care at a rate around eight times higher than the rate at which non-Aboriginal children go into care, will the Minister advise what will be done to ensure that all Aboriginal children in New South Wales who need to go into out-of-home-care are placed according to the Aboriginal placement principle?
The Hon. CARMEL TEBBUTT: I am not in a position to respond with any authority on this matter, although I know that the placement of Aboriginal children with Aboriginal carers relies upon a ready source of Aboriginal families able to provide that foster care. Nonetheless, the Hon. Helen Sham-Ho has asked a question about how the department intends to work towards that aim. I will refer the question to the Minister in the other place and undertake to get a response as soon as possible.