Contains comprehensive information on state and territory child protection and support services in 2013-14, and the characteristics of Australian children within the child protection system.


In Australia, statutory child protection is the responsibility of state and territory governments. Each state and territory department responsible for child protection provides assistance to vulnerable children who have been, or are at risk of being, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed, or whose parents are unable to provide adequate care or protection. Children and young people are defined as those aged less than 18. This includes unborn children in jurisdictions where they are covered under the child protection legislation. Unborn children are reported as a separate age group in tables disaggregated by age (where applicable).

A number of government and non-government organisations share a common duty of care towards the protection of children and young people. Departments responsible for child protection investigate, process and oversee the management of child protection cases. Assistance is provided to children and their families through the provision of, or referral to, a wide range of services.

The national recurrent expenditure on child protection and out-of-home care services was about $3.3 billion in 2013–14, a real increase of $77.8 million (2.4%) from 2012–13 (SCRGSP 2015)




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