The views of children and young people in out-of-home care: overview of indicator results from second national survey, 2018

Child welfare Foster care Child protection First Peoples child protection Out-of-home care Residential care Australia

This report provides an overview of results from a 2018 national data collection on the views of children and young people in out-of-home care. Updated data for 8 indicators under the National Standards for out-of-home care are presented.

Data from a sample of children aged 8–17 who were under the care of the relevant minister or chief executive in the 8 states and territories are presented. Jurisdictions collected these data as part of their local case management processes during the period 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2018.

Key findings:

  • 92% of children reported feeling both safe and settled in their current placement.
  • 2 in 3 children (66%) reported that they usually get to have a say in what happens to them, and people usually listen to what they say.
  • A similar percentage of children (65%) reported that they received adequate support (from their carer or someone else) to participate in sporting, cultural or community activities (excludes Western Australia).
  • Most children (94%) reported feeling close to at least 1 family group: that is, the people they live with now (coresident family), family members they do not live with (non-coresident family) or both.
  • Regarding contact with non-coresident family, 72% of children reported satisfaction with 1 or more contact types (that is, visiting, talking or writing) (excludes Western Australia).
  • 9 in 10 children (90%) reported that they had at least some knowledge of their family background.
  • Nearly all children (97%) reported that they had a significant adult; that is, an adult who cares about what happens to them now and in the future.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 young people (64%) aged 15–17 reported that they were getting as much help as they needed to make decisions about their future. A further 26% reported that they were getting some help but wanted more.
  • Across most indicators, children living in residential care tended to report less positive experiences of care than children living in other arrangements (foster care, relative/kin care or ‘other’).
  • For indicators that had comparable data for the 2015 and 2018 surveys, there was little, if any, difference between years.
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