NSW Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward visited Wollongong on Sunday to urge more of the region's Aboriginal families to become foster carers.
Speaking at the inaugural Kids in Care Cup at WIN Stadium, held to highlight the need for Aboriginal foster carers, Ms Goward said a third of the NSW's 18,000 children in foster care were Aboriginal.
She said the state needed more families to sign up as carers to give indigenous children a sense of culture and belonging.
"We need to give every child in or out of home care a family, and you can't give them a family if you can't give them a sense of belonging," Ms Goward said.
"And you can't give them a sense of belonging if there's nobody that they're living with who knows their background, shares their history, shares their culture, has the same language. And that's what only Aboriginal people can do for Aboriginal children in care.
"So if you can open your heart and take a child into your home and share with a child history, culture, language and that deep sense of belonging that every human being needs, then that is a great outcome of today."
In the Kids in Care Cup, hosted by the Illawarra Titans Aboriginal Rugby League Football Club, 11 teams from around NSW took part in a knockout competition. Also, two women's teams, including one from the Illawarra, and two under-10 teams competed in specialty games.
It was the first Koori rugby league tournament at a major stadium and will lead into the 40th NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout next month.