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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released its latest data on child abuse and neglect notifications made to State and Territory community service departments.
Child abuse and neglect Australia 1995-96 presents statistics on notifications, finalised investigations and substantiations by State and Territory, type of abuse and neglect, Aboriginality, age and sex of child, and type of family in which the child resides.
Report author Anne Broadbent warned that the statistics 'only represent the number of children who come into contact with community service departments as being in need of care and protection-they do not measure the actual incidence of child abuse and neglect in the community'.
'The figures could be inflated because some jurisdictions include general child welfare concerns other than abuse or neglect in their statistics. On the other hand, there is an unknown level of unreported abuse and neglect in Australia.'
'We should also be aware that individual abuse and neglect notifications and substantiations can cover a wide range of severity of injuries, emotional abuse and neglect, so that no one incidence is necessarily the same as another.'
Findings of the report include:
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