56,412 children aged 0–17 years were on care and protection orders nationally, 20,484 of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
45,756 children were in out-of-home care nationally, 17,787 of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
Total recurrent expenditure on child protection, out-of-home care, family support services and intensive family support services was $5.8 billion nationally in 2017-18 — a real increase of 10.3 per cent from 2016-17.
Child protection services provide supports and interventions to promote child and family wellbeing, and to protect children and young people aged 0‑17 years who are at risk of abuse and neglect within their families, or whose families do not have the capacity to provide care and protection.
To achieve these aims, governments seek to provide child protection services that:
are responsive, ensuring that notifications are responded to, and investigations are completed, in a timely and appropriate manner
are targeted to children and young people who are at greatest risk
support and strengthen families so that children can live in a safe and stable family environment
provide quality care for children and young people aged 0–17 years who cannot live with their parents for reasons of safety or family crisis, with an emphasis on safety, stability and permanency in children's living arrangements
meet the needs of individual children and young people in the child protection system.
Governments aim for child protection services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.