INDIGENOUS elders have slammed a foster care agency's inappropriate advertisement of a Wiradjuri girl in need of a foster family.
CareSouth's recent Facebook post, which has since been removed, made an attempt to recruit prospective families interested in caring for a specific child in its care.
Aunty Isabel Reid said it was "disgraceful" that a foster care agency thought it was appropriate to advertise an Aboriginal child in this manner, especially given this country's history.
"To me, it doesn't sound right ... I am uneasy about all of it," she said.
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The ad described the girl's personality and interests and the type of carer they were looking for.
"CareSouth is seeking a long-term foster family in the Wagga Wagga area for a 12-year-old Wiradjuri girl who is caring, social and active," the ad said.
"Ideally a couple or single parent able to support a young person with a mild intellectual disability. We are looking for Aboriginal carers but most importantly someone able to support connection to country.
"This young girl has a beautiful personality, enjoys positive relationships and has lots of interests to share such as gardening and cooking. To find out more, please contact 1300 554 260."
An image of a young girl was also included, however CareSouth have since confirmed it was not of the child.
Aunty Isabel said it would have been more appropriate if they engaged with the local Indigenous community rather than social media.
"If they reached out directly to the Wiradjuri community it would give the girl a better chance at finding a home," she said. "They should speak to some of the elders in the community for advice before they put that out in the world."
CareSouth released a statement saying it was "genuinely sorry" for any offence caused to the community. The statement said they were open to feedback and will listen to any ideas that could assist with future recruitment of foster carers.
"We are committed to keeping Aboriginal kids on country and preferably with family and we will change our approach to how we engage with the community moving forward," the statement said. "Please note we never use images of our children in care in the media."
The Daily Advertiser has put questions to CareSouth regarding its recruitment process, but they did not respond before publication.
Aunty Cheryl Penrith said she was "unhappy, disappointed and outraged," as were most Aboriginal people who came across this ad. She called on the wider community to share in their outrage to make a difference.
"We want some real change that will assist families to stay together and be reunited with family. We would love Yindyamarra respect for all our people, our young ones right to our elders," she said.