The report was originally posted on LinkedIn by Barry Sandison, AIHW CEO.
For three decades, the AIHW’s Child Protection Australia reports have been the authoritative source of national child protection data for Australia.
The release today, Child protection Australia 2019–20, is a continuation of the Institute’s work providing valuable insights on child safety and child protection services.
States and territories began supplying data to the AIHW 30 years ago and this was used to produce our first report in the series: Child abuse and neglect Australia 1990–91. Since 2010–11, we’ve been able to include data on foster carers and relative/kinships carers.
Today’s report shows that overall, the number of children receiving child protection services increased by about 4% from 168,300 in 2016–17 to 174,700 in 2019–20, but the rate over this period remained stable at around 31 per 1,000 children. Along with statistics on state and territory child protection and family support services, the report also contains selected characteristics of children receiving these services.
COVID-19 affected child protection services in 2020—particularly notifications to authorities of suspected child abuse—and its impacts may become more apparent in child protection data in future years. Find out more in our recent report on child protection in the time of COVID-19.
The AIHW continues to work with the Commonwealth and with state and territory child protection authorities to manage and improve the Child Protection data collection so that it can inform policymakers, service providers, researchers and the public.
Read today’s full report here, and earlier editions here.