In some jurisdictions of Australia, the rate of Indigenous children in foster, kinship and residential care on any one night has reached almost one in ten. This rate is almost ten times higher than non-Aboriginal children and has steadily increased over the past decade. Contrast this with rates of non-Indigenous children in out-of-home care, which have stabilised in most jurisdictions.
For Aboriginal children and their families, significant spending on responses has yielded little, if any, benefit on the ground. This paradox is the result of long-standing mutual distrust between families and child protection services, a reliance on responses that are mobilised only after harm is suspected, and a failure to address the factors that drive abuse or neglect in Indigenous families.