During 2017–18, 159,000 (28.7 per 1,000) Australian children received child protection services (investigation, care and protection order and/or were in out-of-home care). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 8 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to have received child protection services. Children from geographically remote areas were more likely to be the subject of a substantiation, or be in out-of-home care than those from major cities.
1 in 35 children received child protection services
Children from Very remote areas are 4 times as likely as those from Major cities to be the subject of a substantiation
31,800 children have been in out-of-home care for 2 years or more
72% of children who received child protection services were repeat clients
Report on Government Services 2022
PART F, SECTION 16: RELEASED ON 25 JANUARY 2022
16 Child protection services
Size & Scope (excerpt)
Nationally, the following number of children aged 0–17 years received protective intervention services and out‑of‑home care services during 2020‑21 (also reported as a rate per 1000 children in the population) (tables 16A.1–4):
293 585 children were the subject of notifications; 51.9 notifications per 1000 children
105 407 children were the subject of a finalised investigation; 18.6 finalised investigations per 1000 children
49 690 children were the subject of a substantiation; 8.8 substantiations per 1000 children
61 743 children were on care and protection orders at 30 June 2021; 10.9 children on care and protection orders per 1000 children
46 212 children were in out‑of‑home care at 30 June 2021, 8.2 per 1000 children aged 0–17 years, with a further 10 115 children in other supported placements.
There were 56 871 children in out‑of‑home care at least once during 2020‑21; with 11 515 children admitted to, and 11 382 discharged from, out‑of‑home care during this period. See Reporting on out-of-home care (below) for information about the definition of out‑of‑home care used in this Report.