Indigenous Child Protection Policy in Australia: Using Whiteness Theory for Social Work

Susan Young


The so-called ‘crisis’ in child protection (Barter, 2006) has recently become the crisis in and of Indigenous communities in Australia. This paper had its beginnings before the Northern Territory experiment of 2007 but the concerns then were no less than they are now and require critical attention. A concern for me, as a social work educator, was the role and construction of social work as a major player in the protection of Indigenous children. This paper uses Whiteness theory to critique social work practice and Australian social policy regarding the protection of Indigenous children in Australia, before concluding with identifying some opportunities offered by Whiteness theory to social work practice.


Indigenous policy, Australia, child protection

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