Technical notes

Notes on data used for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle indicators

Children in out-of-home care

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP) indicators were first reported in 2020, with data from 2016–17 onwards included in the report. All data included was based on the nationally consistent definition for out-of-home care, implemented for national reporting in 2018–19. Therefore, historical out-of-home care data presented in this report may not match out-of-home care data published previously or elsewhere.

Children on third party-parental responsibility orders

Children who were on third-party parental responsibility orders (sometimes referred to as permanent care orders) at the time that data was recorded are not included in counts for the ATSICPP indicators as they are not considered to be in out-of-home care. These children are, however, under the legal guardianship of a third-party carer and therefore separated from their birth parents or former guardians. Accordingly, in the context of the ATSICPP, issues around connection to culture and placement are still very relevant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children on third-party orders. However, due to data limitations relating to children on third-party orders, insufficient national data is available to report on the ATSICPP indicators for these children.

For more details on the definition of out-of-home care and children on third-party orders, see Child protection Australia 2018–19 (AIHW 2020).

Data source and methods

The data used for the ATSICPP indicators published in this report are sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Child Protection National Minimum Data Set (CP NMDS). The CP NMDS is a national unit record data collection, with data supplied by all states and territories except New South Wales, who provide aggregate child protection data.

Aggregate data was also provided by the Northern Territory for indicators 1.1 and 2.1, which relate to caregiver types for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care. For indicator 2.2 the Australian Capital Territory have supplied aggregate data since 2019–20 and South Australia supplied aggregate data for 2019–20 only.

Additional details on caveats relating to data in the CP NMDS can be found in the supplementary data tables and footnotes from Child protection Australia.

To protect confidentiality within this publication, some cell values have been suppressed and are not available for publication but are included in totals where applicable.

More information

Background information and technical specifications for all indicators can be found at The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle indicators: background information and technical specifications.

Metadata standards for these indicators are stored in Australia’s online metadata repository, METeOR, hosted by the AIHW.


AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2020) Child protection Australia 2018–19, AIHW, Australian Government.