May 16, 2017
Foundation Housing have pledged our commitment to the Family Matters National Week of Action 14-20 May. This campaign seeks to highlight the fundamental issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Most importantly, its supporters are working to shine a light on the disconnection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from community, culture and country.
Foundation Housing recognises the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people being able to grow up safe and cared for within family, community and culture. We also seek to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, communities and organisations are empowered to exercise their responsibilities for the safety and wellbeing of their children.
We manage over 200 households who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Our goal is to work with them to sustain their home and provide pathways to improved wellbeing through strategic partnerships with other social service providers.
A program that is having a direct positive impact on ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children remain connected to kin is the Homes for Carers pilot program which seeks to secure large homes from the private rental market for foster carers, most of whom are Indigenous. The program is run in partnership with the West Australian Department for Child Protection and Family Services, and the Housing Authority and aims to unite a child in foster care with a family member such as a grandparent who is willing to care for the child, but who doesn’t currently live in a home suitable for the child to move in to. Usually, this is because the existing home has an insufficient number of bedrooms. Since its inception in mid 2016, the program has assisted 13 children return to family care.
Partnerships with Indigenous Corporations are another area where we are able to contribute the overall wellbeing of Aboriginal people. We work with corporations such as Nyamba Buru Yawuru in the West Kimberley and IBN in the Pilbara to provide property and tenancy management services for the homes they provide for their beneficiaries. We provide support in areas such as housing maintenance, tenancy management and compliance documentation, while the corporations determine who is assigned to the home and provide any support services that are needed.
“We share a common vision and goal with Aboriginal Corporations: which supports health and education, stronger communities and sustainable housing for future generations” says Foundation Housing’s CEO Kathleen Gregory.
“Like many, we want to see better outcomes for Aboriginal Children and wholeheartedly support Family Matters as they seek to drive local change, inform and empower families and call on Governments to act.”