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released: 21 Jan 2010 author: AIHW media release

During 2008-09 across Australia, over 200,000 children were the subject of one or more child protection notifications; almost 33,000 children were the subject of one or more substantiations; over 35,000 children were on care and protection orders; and around 34,000 children were living in out-of-home care. This report contains comprehensive information relating to state and territory child protection and support services, and the characteristics of Australian children within the child protection system.

ISSN 1320-081X; ISBN 978 1 74024 991 1; Cat. no. CWS 35; 128pp.; Internet only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material
    • Title and verso pages
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
      • Symbols used in tables
      • Technical notes
    • Summary
      • Main findings
  • Body section
    1. Introduction
      1. Child protection overview and processes
        • Reports to the department
        • Notifications, investigations and substantiations
        • Care and protection orders and out-of-home care
        • Family support services
        • Developments in child protection policies and practices
      2. The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020
      3. Child protection data collections
        • Data sources
        • Data limitations
        • Key differences across state and territory collections
        • Changes in data systems
      4. Future directions for data collection
        • Unit record file development
        • Development of national framework indicators
      5. Purpose and structure of this report
    2. Notifications, investigations and substantiations
      1. Overview
        • Scope
        • Definitions
      2. Data and analysis
        • Numbers and rates of notifications, investigations and substantiations
        • Characteristics of children
    3. Care and protection orders
      1. Overview
        • Scope
        • Definitions
      2. Data and analysis
        • Numbers and rates for care and protection orders
        • Characteristics of children
    4. Out-of-home care
      1. Overview
        • Scope
        • Definitions
      2. Data and analysis
        • Numbers and rates of out-of-home care
        • Characteristics of children
    5. Intensive family support services
      1. Overview
        • Scope
        • Definitions
      2. Data and analysis
  • End matter
    • Appendixes
      1. Detailed tables
        • Notifications, investigations and substantiations
        • Care and protection orders
        • Out-of-home care
        • Trend data (prior to 2004–05)
        • Population data
      2. Technical notes
        • Calculation of rates
        • Identification of Indigenous status
      3. Mandatory reporting requirements
        • New South Wales
        • Victoria
        • Queensland
        • Western Australia
        • South Australia
        • Tasmania
        • Australian Capital Territory
        • Northern Territory
      4. Legislation
        • Child protection legislation
        • Legislative definition of ‘in need of care and protection’
      5. Policy and practice differences in states and territories
        • Notifications, investigations and substantiations
        • Care and protection orders
        • Out-of-home care
      6. Recent state and territory policy changes
      7. Jurisdictions’ data systems
        • Key differences between jurisdictions’ data systems
        • Relevant changes in data systems
      8. Inquiries into child protection services
    • Glossary
      • General definitions
      • Definitions for child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations
      • Definitions for care and protection orders
        • Age of child
        • Child subject to orders
        • Living arrangements
      • Definitions for out-of-home care
        • Age of child
        • Respite care
        • Type of placement
      • Definitions for intensive family support services
        • Age
        • Agency
        • Indigenous
        • Living situation
        • Location
        • Geographic area
        • Type of service
    • References
    • List of tables
    • List of figures

Notes and corrections

The current version of the publication is presented above. Previous versions of files that have been updated or corrected are presented below.

  1. This version of Child protection Australia, 2008–09 differs from the original (published 21 January 2010) in that it corrects historical data reported on the number of children subject to a notification in Australia in 2004–05.

    The number of children subject to a notification in Australia increased by 28% between 2004–05 and 2008–09 (from 161,930 to 207,462). (1 September 2010)

Recommended citation

AIHW 2010. Child protection Australia 2008-09. Child welfare series no. 47. Cat. no. CWS 35. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 25 April 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442468325>.