This paper presents and discusses a snapshot of data describing the rates of involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection and out of home care.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in child protection and out-of-home care services compared to other Australian children and have been since the first data collation in 1990.
Between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011, for every 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia, 34.6 had child protection records of substantiated harm or risk of harm from abuse or neglect. This means that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 7.5 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be the subject of substantiated reports of harm/risk of harm than non-Indigenous children. Child protection authorities are required to intervene if a child has been, is being, or is at risk of significant harm, therefore some of these children may not have been abused or neglected but were identified as being at risk of harm.
This paper was updated by Deborah Scott, Research Fellow with the Child Family Community Australia information exchange at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Previous editions were compiled by Dr Leah Bromfield, Briony Horsfall, Alister Lamont and Mel Irenyi.