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The majority of children in out-of-home care say they feel safe and settled in their current placement, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Views of children and young people in out-of-home care, shows that 91% of surveyed children reported feeling both safe and settled in their current placement, while a further 6% reported feeling safe but not settled (4%), or feeling settled but not safe (2%).
'Two-thirds (67%) of children in care reported that they usually get to have a say in what happens to them, and people usually listen to what they say' said AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-Stanbury.
The majority (94%) described feeling close to at least one family group; either the people they live with now (coresident family), family members they do not live with (non-coresident family), or both.
'The vast majority (97%) said that they had an adult who cares about what happens to them now and in the future,' said Mark Cooper-Stanbury.
Most children surveyed (87%) reported that they received adequate support, from their carer or someone else, to participate in sport, community or cultural activities.
More than half of children aged 15-17 in care (58%) reported that they were getting as much help as they needed to make decisions about their future, while a further 30% reported that they were getting some help but wanted more, and 12% reported that they were not receiving adequate assistance.
The report presents results from a new national survey collected as part of state and territory local case management processes during February to June 2015. The responses of 2,083 children aged 8-17 who were under the care of the Minister or Chief Executive in the eight states and territories are reported against eight indicators under the National Standards for Out-of-Home Care.
'The survey was a pilot study and provides valuable information on how local case management processes can be used to give children in care a voice' said Mark Cooper-Stanbury.
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, 23 March 2016
Further information: Mr Mark Cooper-Stanbury, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1251, mob. 0418 271 395
Full publication: The views of children and young people in out-of-home care: overview of indicator results from a pilot national survey 2015
Dynamic data display: National standards for out-of-home-care data