Current project: Reviewing Victoria's progress with Target 12 of Closing the Gap

We're looking at what's being done to reduce the number of Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care.

About the project

The Commission for Children and Young People is looking at Victoria’s progress towards achieving Closing the Gap Target 12: to reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in out of home care by 45% by 2031 (Target 12).

Closing the Gap is an agreement between all Australian governments and Aboriginal people, communities, organisations and businesses. The initiative began in response to a call for governments to commit to achieving equality for Aboriginal people. The National Agreement on Closing the Gap includes four priority reforms and 17 targets across a range of outcome areas: education, employment, health and wellbeing, justice, safety, housing, land and waters, and languages. More information can be found here.

Over the past few months, the Commission has been engaging with Aboriginal children and organisations across Victoria. The high number of Aboriginal children in care continues to be a major issue faced by Aboriginal communities. This was also a major concern identified through our recent inquiry Our Youth Our Way:

This over-representation is closely linked to the social disadvantage generated by the dispossession and marginalisation that Aboriginal people have experienced since colonisation. The intergenerational impacts of racist policies, including the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families (the Stolen Generations), are still being felt today. (Pg. 290)

While there have been several important reforms aimed at reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care - most significantly the growing number of Aboriginal children in the care of Aboriginal organisations, and Aboriginal children being reunified with their families - the rate of overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in out of home care continues to grow in Victoria.

As part of this project, the Commission will explore the work being done to achieve Target 12 and develop a progress report that:

  • examines barriers and enablers to achieving Target 12
  • promotes the Victorian Government’s accountability for the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people
  • elevates the voices of Aboriginal children and young people
  • raises the visibility of government’s pre-existing commitment to achieve Target 12
  • makes findings and recommendations that will help achieve Target 12.   

The report will involve engagement with Aboriginal children, families and organisations, community service organisations, relevant government departments, as well as desktop research, data analysis and the development of findings and recommendations. 

How to be involved

Aboriginal children or young people

If you would like to speak to someone at the Commission, please contact us on 1300 78 29 78 or email

Other stakeholders

The Commission also welcomes the views of other interested stakeholders, including individuals, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations or other organisations contributing to keeping Aboriginal children and young people out of, and safe within, the child protection system. If you would like to talk to us, we would like to talk to you.

You can have your say by: