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Young people aged 10-17 who were in the child protection system in 2013-14, were more likely to be under youth justice supervision at some time in the same year, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Young people receiving child protection services and under youth justice supervision 2013-14, shows that young people who were the subject of care and protection orders in 2013-14 were 23 times as likely as the general population to be under youth justice supervision (either in detention or under community-based supervision) at some time in that year (although not necessarily at the same time).
Similarly, young people in out-of-home care were 23 times as likely as the general population to be under youth justice supervision in the same year, while those who were the subject of an investigated child protection notification were 13 times as likely to be under youth justice supervision.
'Research has shown for some time that children and young people who have been abused or neglected are at greater risk of engaging in criminal activity and entering the youth justice system,' AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-Stanbury said.
Correspondingly, young people in detention were 13 times as likely as the general population to be in the child protection system in the same year. Those under community-based supervision were 11 times as likely to be in the child protection system in the same year.
The report found that the younger someone was at their first youth justice supervision, the more likely they were to also be in the child protection system in the same year.
'Of young people aged 10 at their first youth justice supervision, one-third (33%) were also in child protection in 2013-14, compared with one-tenth (10%) of those aged 17,' Mr Cooper-Stanbury said.
'We hope to build a better picture of what happens to these children and young people over time as years of data accumulate,' said Mr Cooper-Stanbury.
The report uses linked de-identified data on child protection and youth justice supervision from Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. Data for more states and territories will be available in future years.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 10 February 2016
Further information: Mr Mark Cooper-Stanbury, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1251, mob. 0418 271 395
Full publication: Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2013-14