An Aboriginal grandmother from Perth says she is being denied access to two of her grandchildren in state care because of claims the children are afraid of Indigenous people.
The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has disputed the claim and said it was working towards re-establishing contact between the children and their grandmother.
The grandmother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had been fighting to maintain contact with the girls, two of five children taken from their drug-addicted biological mother at birth.
Three boys were taken in by relatives, including one by the grandmother.
The grandmother, who lives with her children in Perth’s northern suburbs, said she had wanted to take care of the girls as well, but her requests to care for them were denied by the DCP.
She said she was told she had too many children of her own to adequately care for the girls, now aged seven and eight.
“It’s a bit unfair that you can’t look after your grandchildren because you’ve got four children,” she said.
The two girls were taken into foster care and the grandmother said a slow process of building a bond with her grandchildren had begun.
“Everything was going great with contact,” she said.
“We had to slowly, gradually get contact so it was like one hour every fortnight, then a year later it would go up to two hours every fortnight.”
Access times had been extended to five hours, then to sleepovers, but it was still short of what she wanted – which was full-time care.
That was until two years ago when a case review panel recommended she have more time with the girls and they be transferred to her care