New substantiations for children in care

Children in care can experience further abuse or neglect, for example, by their carer or another person in the household or care facility. When children are in care, notifications of suspected abuse in care are investigated. This report refers to those situations where a child in care was subject to a new substantiation. New substantiations occur when there was reasonable cause to believe that the child had been, was being, or was at risk of being, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed.

The scope and source of the safety in care data in this report are different to those in the Report on Government Services 2023 (Part F, Section 16), so direct comparisons cannot be made between the 2 reports.

This report is primarily a data report. As such, it can at times appear to depersonalise some of the pain and suffering behind the statistics. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) would like to acknowledge the serious impact and huge burden that child abuse can have on those affected. It can inflict physical injury, psychological trauma and emotional suffering. These effects can last a lifetime and can affect future generations. It is our endeavour that, by bringing together the available data, we can strengthen the evidence to build a more coherent picture of abuse in care in Australia. This information will help to inform government policies and practice and assist in the planning and delivery of prevention and intervention programs.