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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are overrepresented in a range of safety measures. Compared to non-Indigenous children, they have higher rates of hospitalisations due to injury, higher rates of injury mortality and come into contact with child protection and juvenile justice systems more frequently.
The National Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Plan 2004–2014 identifies injury prevention in children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as priority areas for action.
The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 aims to substantially reduce child abuse and neglect across Australia and to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous children in child protection systems. To focus effort and actions under the Framework six outcomes have been developed—one outcome being that Indigenous children are supported and safe in their families and communities.
Australian state and territory governments have a number of initiatives targeted towards Indigenous young people in the criminal justice system. These include specialist Indigenous staff who work with young people in detention and post-release; programs and support services such as drug and alcohol programs, programs to reduce the incidence of family and intergenerational violence; and Indigenous and cultural specific programs including numeracy and literacy, Indigenous art and counselling.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child safety (565KB PDF) provides an overview of the safety and security of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, based on a framework adapted from key national indicators of child health, development and wellbeing. The paper provides key information relating to the level of overrepresentation of Indigenous children across this range of safety measures.