The Child Protection National Minimum Data Set (CP NMDS) is an annual collection of information on child protection in Australia. It contains data on children who come into contact with State and Territory departments responsible for child protection.

The CP NMDS consists of the following data files:

  • client demographics
  • notifications, investigations and substantiations
  • care and protection orders
  • living arrangements, including children in funded out-of-home care
  • carer households
  • data for reporting on National Out-of-Home Care Standards measures
  • safety in care.

Where possible, data are also collected on sibling relationships.

The CP NMDS collection was implemented in 2012–13. Prior to that a national aggregate child protection data collection was used for national child protection reporting (data for this collection began in 1990–91).

Some data are still collected in aggregate format in Excel spreadsheets.

The data are published annually by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and are also used for the Report on Government Services.

Collection details
Classification/dimension variables
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Indigenous
  • SLK

Temporal coverage 

from 30/6/2012

Geographical coverage

National and State

Data availability

  • Publications
  • Summary tables published in electronic form

Client specified tables on request which may be subject to data provider approval (charges apply).

Restricted unit record access subject to Ethics Committee approval and/or the agreement of all relevant data custodians in all states and territories (charges may apply).

Data scope 

Child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations; care and protection orders; living arrangements, including children in funded out-of-home care; carer households; national out-of-home care standards; sibling relationships; safety in care.


Admin data

Metadata information and data quality statement (DQS)

Child protection NMDS 2021-22
(METEOR 773440)

Child Protection National Minimum Dataset 2021-22 DQS
(METEOR 776828)

External links and information 

Child protection - Overview


[email protected]