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If you wish to report a child protection matter, contact the department responsible for child protection in your state or territory.
In Australia, statutory child protection is the responsibility of state and territory governments. Departments responsible for child protection provide assistance to vulnerable children who are suspected of being abused, neglected or harmed, or whose parents are unable to provide adequate care or protection.
Contacts made to these departments regarding allegations of child abuse or neglect, child maltreatment or harm to a child are called 'notifications'. Notifications are assessed to determine the level of intervention required (if any). The aim of an investigation is to obtain more detailed information and to determine whether the notification is 'substantiated' or 'not substantiated'. A substantiation indicates there is sufficient reason to believe that a child has been, is being, or is likely to be, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed.
The relevant department will attempt to ensure the safety of the child through an appropriate level of continued involvement. This may include placing the child on a care and protection order and/or into out-of-home care. The provision of support services to the child and family may also be appropriate.
For more information on the processes of child protection across Australia refer to the latest Child protection Australia 2015–16 report.
The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children dynamic data display presents the latest data on a range of indicators.
children received child protection services.
Indigenous children were 7 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to have received child protection services.
Rates for children in substantiations, on care and protection orders, and in out-of-home care increased over the period 2011–12 to 2015–16.
was the most common type of abuse substantiated.
Children from areas of lower socioeconomic status were more likely to be the subjects of substantiations.
Children from Very remote areas were 4 times as likely as those from Major cities to be the subject of a substantiation.
of children in relative/kinship placements (48%) were living with their grandparents.
of foster care households (52%) had multiple children placed.