Child protection Australia 2015–16 is the 20th annual comprehensive report on child protection. This report includes detailed statistical information on state and territory child protection and support services, and some of the characteristics of children receiving these services.

Key findings for 2015–16

1 in 33 children received child protection services, with 73% being repeat clients

162,175 (1 in 33) children had an investigation, care and protection order and/or were placed in out-of-home care.

Rates for children in substantiations, on care and protection orders, and in out-of-home care continued to rise

Between 2011–12 and 2015–16, rates per 1,000 children:

  • in substantiations rose from 7.4 to 8.5
  • on orders rose from 7.9 to 9.6
  • in out-of-home care rose from 7.7 to 8.6.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continued to be over-represented

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 7 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to have received child protection services.

Emotional abuse and neglect were the most common primary and co-occurring types of substantiated abuse and neglect

Children from geographically remote areas had the highest rates of substantiations

Children from Very remote areas were 4 times as likely as those from Major cities to be the subject of a substantiation.

Most children in relative/kinship placements were with grandparents

48% of children in relative/kinship placements were placed with grandparents at 30 June 2016.

Large proportions of carer households had multiple children placed

52% of foster carer households and 40% of relative/kinship carer households had more than 1 child placed with them at 30 June 2016.