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Children in out-of-home care: their perspectives

Insights into the views and experiences of children in out-of-home care are explored in the AIHW report, The views of children and young people in out-of-home care: overview of indicator results from a pilot national survey, 2015.

'Out-of-home care is overnight care provided to vulnerable children who have been, or are at risk of being, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed,' said Mr Mark Cooper-Stanbury, Acting Head of the AIHW's Community Services and Communications Group.

Out-of-home care can be provided in several settings, including designated facilities or private residences.

According to the report, the majority of children in out-of-home care feel safe and settled in their current placement.

'We found that 91% of surveyed children felt both safe and settled, with another 4% feeling safe but not settled, and 2% feeling settled but not safe,' Mr Cooper-Stanbury said.

More than two-thirds (67%) of the children surveyed said they usually have a say in what happens to them, and that people usually listen to what they say.

The majority (94%) described feeling close to at least one family group—either the people they live with now, family members they do not live with, or both.

'And the vast majority (97%) said that they have an adult who cares about what happens to them now and in the future,' Mr Cooper-Stanbury said.

Most children (86%) reported having at least some knowledge of their family background and culture, and 87% reported that they received adequate support, either from their carer or someone else, to participate in sport, community or cultural activities.

More than half (58%) felt that they were getting as much help as they needed to make decisions about their future, while a further 30% said that they were getting some help but wanted more. Another 12% said that they were not receiving adequate assistance in this area.

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,' Mr Cooper-Stanbury said.

View The views of children and young people in out-of-home care: overview of indicator results from a pilot national survey, 2015.

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