42,818 Australian children were in out-of-home care in 2014, an increase of 6% on the previous year according to new statistics released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Indigenous children made up 65% of this figure, at a rate of 51.4 per 1,000, compared to non-Indigenous children at a rate of 5.6 per 1,000.
The new data is the first in a series of ‘dynamic data displays’ from AIHW aimed at better allowing governments, decision makers and members of the public to understand and track Australia’s progress in keeping children and young people safe. The data relates to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 – a long term plan to promote and enhance the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children.
Abuse, neglect and assault
The data also highlights concerning figures surrounding children suffering abuse, neglect and assault. Between 2013-14, over 39,000 children were the subject of child protection substantiations, which capture cases that have “a reasonable cause to believe the child had been, was being, or was likely to be abused, neglected or otherwise harmed.”
62 children were killed between 2010-12, 13 of them infants under a year old. Police recorded just over 5,000 children as being victims of sexual assault in 2013, although actual figures are likely to be higher.
More than a third of young people aged 15 years and over who were required to have a ‘leaving care plan’ in place did not have one as of June 30th 2014. Leaving care plans, or ‘transition from care plans’ are developed to support young people transitioning from out-of-home care to independent living.
Trauma informed practice
The Safety & Stability for Vulnerable Children Conference taking place in Melbourne in February will examine how service providers can improve outcomes through trauma informed practice. Speakers and case studies will focus on creating a framework for safe and permanent care, developing child safe organisations, strategies for building a capable workforce and building sustainable future pathways for vulnerable children. Book your place by November 27th to save $400.