In 2015, an extensive consultation phase was undertaken by a small team of staff members at the Australian Centre for Child Protection. This involved consultations with key members of peak Aboriginal organisations/bodies, State and Commonwealth Departments and key community organisations. The consultation explored the concept of developing a national Indigenous research institute dedicated to building the evidence of what works in protecting and improving the lives of Aboriginal children.
The consultation process received enthusiastic support and here was unanimous agreement from stakeholders that the time was ripe for change. There was a key vision to improve and protect the lives of Aboriginal children.
This consultation then went on to inform the Social Justice and Native Title Report (2015). From this report an urgent need was recognised to establish a collaborative and national Aboriginal Research Institute in Child Protection. This institute would build an evidence base of what works, and how this is best implemented to ensure Indigenous children are safe, strong and well. In March 2016, a core group of supporters (comprised of representatives from peak bodies, community organisations and academia) came together for the very first meeting and Positive Futures Research Collaboration was born, operating under self-determination and self-management principles where Aboriginal communities are given the appropriate level of support and resources to enable change and prevent harm to raise strong, happy and healthy kids, as outlined as a major priority in the Social Justice and Native Title Report (2015).
We have a vision that all Aboriginal children are safe and growing strong in their families and communities.
Our mission grounds itself in excellence and research rigour. We exist to:
- Reduce the escalating over-representation of Aboriginal children in care and protection systems. This includes out of home care.
- Provide career pathways for Aboriginal researchers, practitioners and policy makers, and highlight Australia as a leader and innovator in the field of Indigenous child protection research, policy development and practice leadership.
- Build a reliable and credible source of research and evidence to inform policy, shape practice and become the major resource of information for government and non-government organisations.
Our approach is always for genuine collaboration between academia, government, Aboriginal community, families and children and non-government organisations so that all voices are heard.
In partnership with Aboriginal organisations, academic institutions and non-government organisations, based at UniSA, Positive Futures developing high quality research to inform policy, practice, education and training regarding the safety and positive development of Aboriginal children.
Our approach means that the Positive Futures Research Collaboration is Indigenous led, multidisciplinary, and works and engages with all fields where decisions are made that impact on children and families to ensure the generation and uptake of best research evidence.