Closing the Gap

Children are not overrepresented in the child protection system

12
Children are not overrepresented in the child protection system

Outcome

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are not overrepresented in the child protection system.

Target

By 2031, reduce the rate of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent.

Summary on Target

Target By 2031, reduce the rate of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent*
Domain Children, families and justice
Outcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are not overrepresented in the child protection system.
Numerator Number of Indigenous Australians aged 0–17 in out-of-home care at 30 June.
Denominator Number of Indigenous Australians aged 0–17 at 30 June.
Computation 1,000 x (numerator ÷ denominator)
  • The denominator is derived from ABS Indigenous population estimates and projections (series B) based on the 2016 Census.
Data source AIHW Child Protection Collections.
Notes
  • *Refers to the reduction in the rate ratio (Indigenous rate per 1,000 divided by the non-Indigenous rate per 1,000).
  • 2018–19 was the first year that a single nationally consistent definition of out-of-home care has been applied across all states and territories. Prior to this, reporting of out-of-home care was not nationally consistent.

Prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Baseline data

Baseline data for the target measure is presented below at a national level, and for each state and territory where available. This will show starting points for each target, by jurisdiction.

Table 12.1: Out-of-home care, rate of children in out-of-home care 0-17 years, 30 June 2016 to 30 June 2019(a)(b)(c)

Indigenous number
Year ending NSW VIC QLD(d) WA SA(e) TAS(f) ACT NT Australia
30 June 2016 6,652 1,876 3,619 2,212 1,073 297 197 920 16,846
30 June 2017 6,824 2,091 3,782 2,321 1,150 321 227 948 17,664
30 June 2018 6,766 1,975 3,832 2,452 1,216 389 260 953 17,843
30 June 2019(a) 6,754 2,181 3,576 2,604 1,338 379 199 948 17,979
Indigenous rate (per 1,000 population)
Year ending NSW VIC QLD(d) WA SA(e) TAS(f) ACT NT Australia
30 June 2016 60.7 79.9 38.6 55.6 62.1 25.7 69.3 34.9 51.9
30 June 2017 61.9 88.3 39.9 57.9 66.0 27.8 79.9 36.1 54.0
30 June 2018 60.8 82.5 40.0 60.8 69.3 33.6 90.9 36.5 54.1
30 June 2019(a) 60.2 90.0 37.0 64.1 75.3 32.7 68.5 36.6 54.2
Non-Indigenous number
Year ending NSW VIC QLD(d) WA SA(e) TAS(f) ACT NT Australia
30 June 2016 11,147 7,821 5,010 1,887 2,095 830 546 112 29,448
30 June 2017 11,055 8,212 5,093 1,911 2,246 865 576 111 30,069
30 June 2018 10,618 5,979 5,225 1,994 2,413 849 566 114 27,758
30 June 2019(a) 10,127 6,309 4,532 2,148 2,437 706 497 108 26,864
Non-Indigenous rate (per 1,000 population)
Year ending NSW VIC QLD(d) WA SA(e) TAS(f)  ACT NT Australia
30 June 2016 6.9 5.9 4.8 3.4 6.0 8.2 6.3 3.1 5.8
30 June 2017 6.8 6.1 4.8 3.5 6.4 8.6 6.5 3.0 5.8
30 June 2018 6.4 4.3 4.9 3.6 6.9 8.4 6.3 3.1 5.3
30 June 2019(a) 6.1 4.5 4.2 3.8 6.9 7.0 5.4 3.0 5.1

Prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 

Source

AIHW Child Protection Collections 2015–16 to 2018–19

Notes

  1. Out-of-home care data prior to 2018–19 are presented according to jurisdiction-specific definitions that applied in the respective year. These data should be interpreted with care as reporting has varied over time and between jurisidictions. From 2018–19, all states and territories have adopted a national definition of out-of-home care (see Chapter 5 of Child Protection Australia 2018–19 for more details). Data based on this nationally agreed definition may not match state and territory figures published elsewhere and should not be compared with data prior to 2018–19.
  2. These data include children of unknown age.
  3. Some data may not match those published in previous Child protection Australia publications due to retrospective updates to data.
  4. Data produced from the CP NMDS based on nationally agreed specifications might not match Queensland figures published elsewhere.
  5. SA could provide the number of children in out-of-home care only where the department is making a financial contribution to the care of a child (this excludes cases where financial payment was offered and declined).
  6. Tasmanian data exclude children not under care and protection orders placed with relatives for whom a financial contribution is made under the Supported Extended Family or Relatives Allowance programs. Tasmania is not able to include children in care where a financial payment was offered but was declined by the carer meaning Tasmania’s data are slightly lower than would be the case if the counting rule was strictly applied.

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National Target Trajectory

The national target trajectories presented below reflect the possible rate of progress over the next decade to achieve the target. In practice, the rate of progress is unlikely to be the same from year to year.

The target trajectory can be compared with the two related trajectories: the projected rates of progress for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians based on the assumption the historic rate of change will continue into the future.

Prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Source

AIHW analysis of AIHW Child Protection Collections data.

Summary Table On Trajectory Chart

Line label Line Method/assumptions Annual change (percentage points) 2031 rate (%)
Historical trend: Non-Indigenous rate

Dark purple solid
Dark purple solid

Rate (per 1,000) of out-of-home care for non-Indigenous children at 30 June, 4 data points (2016-2019)(a). -0.3 . .
Continuation of 2019 rate: non-Indigenous

Dark purple dashed
Dark purple dashed

Continuation of the 2019 rate for non-Indigenous children through to 2031. This is the first data point for which a nationally consistent definition of out-of-home care was used by all jurisdictions. 0.0 5.1
Continuation of 2019 rate: Indigenous Grey solid
Grey
Continuation of 2019 rate for Indigenous children through to 2031. This is the first data point for which a nationally consistent definition of out-of-home care was used by all jurisdictions. 0.0 54.2
Historical trend: Indigenous rate

Light purple solid
Light purple solid

Rate (per 1,000) of out-of-home care for Indigenous children at 30 June, 4 data points (2016-2019) (a). 0.7 . .
Continuation of historical trend: Indigenous

Light purple dashed
Light purple dashed

Straight line projection based on linear regression of historical data for Indigenous children (using 4 data points)(a)(b). 0.7 62.9
Target trajectory

Orange dashed
Orange dashed

Straight line projection from 2016 value to the target rate in 2031. This represents a reduction of 45% in the Indigenous rate, which is equivalent to a reduction of 45% in the rate ratio, and a reduction of half (49.7%) in the rate difference(c). -2.0 29.8

. . = not applicable.

  1. 2018–19 was the first year that a single nationally consistent definition of out-of-home care has been applied across all states and territories. Prior to this, reporting of out-of-home care was not nationally consistent, so the estimated trend should be interpret with caution.
  2. Based on a linear regression of historical data. As such, the projection captures drivers of historical growth rates such as population growth or government funding. Doing projections in this manner assumes that the drivers of growth will not vary greatly into the future.
  3. Rate ratio is calculated as the Indigenous rate divided by the non-Indigenous rate. Rate difference is calculated as the Indigenous rate minus the non-Indigenous rate.

Prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Source

AIHW analysis of AIHW Child Protection Collections data.