5.2 Placement of Indigenous children

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people benefit when they are able to maintain fundamental links to family, community, land and culture. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle states that the preferred order of placement for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who are unable to live with their families is with:

  • the child's extended family
  • the child's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
  • other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This principle is just one of many considerations taken into account when making decisions for placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Where placement options outlined in the principle are not optimal for a child’s safety and wellbeing, the child may be placed in an alternative care arrangement. Usually this is done only after extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and/or organisations. This principle has been endorsed by all states and territories in Australia.

For all indicator displays, where all years of data are comparable over time an ‘All’ category will be provided as an option in the ‘Year’ drop down display. If only a selection of specific years are comparable, these years (e.g. 2017 to 2019) will be provided as an option under ‘Year’ and ‘All’ will not be an option. See the footnotes for this indicator in the supplementary tables hyperlink below for further information.

See the supplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.

Indicator technical specifications

The information below provides technical specifications for the summary indicator data presented in the quick reference guide.

National Framework Indicator 5.2 Placement of Indigenous children: Proportion of Indigenous children aged 0-17 years in out-of-home care placed with extended family or other Indigenous caregivers
  Definition Data source
Numerator

Number of Indigenous children aged 0-17 years placed with relatives/kin or other Indigenous caregivers at 30 June

AIHW National Child Protection Data Collection
Denominator Number of Indigenous children aged 0-17 years in out-of-home care at 30 June AIHW National Child Protection Data Collection

Explanatory notes

Where Indigenous children are unable to live with their parents, culturally appropriate responses for their care and protection are needed. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle outlines a preference for the placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when they are placed outside their family. All jurisdictions have adopted this principle in legislation and policy. The principle outlines the following order of preference for the placement of Indigenous children: with the child’s extended family; within the child's Indigenous community; and with other Indigenous people.

See the supplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.