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Calls to dump NT residential foster care

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

The Northern Territory Children's Commissioner wants residential foster care to be scrapped.

Colleen Gwynne says 'resi care', which houses children who cannot be placed with foster families, is a flawed system.

It comes after an ABC's Four Corners investigation that detailed allegations of child neglect in other states by private companies.

Ms Gwynne says similar problems exist in the Territory, where providers lack the resources and expertise to give children adequate support.

"We often let young people down," she told ABC local radio on Wednesday.

"Often the carers are just not trained to deal with challenging behaviours ... it needs urgent attention."

Last month, Ms Gwynne told the NT royal commission into child protection and detention that more vulnerable indigenous children should be placed with Aboriginal families for foster care.

The Territory has the highest child placement rate in the country but a comparatively low rate of placement of Aboriginal children in kinship care.

"It's kind of a vicious cycle where the young people are placed in a placement where there's no cultural connection. There's this constant absconding," she said.

Ms Gwynne also supported more decentralised protection services, but feared the success of this strategy could be derailed if government commitments don't "exceed election cycles".

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