1.3 Sense of security

Children may be in care due to abuse or neglect, or because their family is unable to care for them (for example, due to illness or incarceration). It is important that children feel safe and secure during their time in care.

This indicator uses results from a national survey of children in care; those whose care arrangements have been ordered through the Children’s Court, where parental responsibility for the child or young person has been transferred to the Minister/Chief Executive.

Children were asked about the extent to which they felt safe and settled in their current placement.

Trend data: For all indicator displays, the yearly trend is limited to indicators with 3 or more years (including the current year) of comparable time series data. To see the trend click on “Yearly Trend” button on the display. Where 3 or more years of comparable data including the most recent year is not available, a “No time series data” message is shown on the display.

The figure shows the proportion of children and young people aged 8-17 in out-of-home care who report feeling safe and secure in their current placement, 2015 and 2018. The proportion was 91.5% for 2018.

Source: AIHW Out-of-home care survey national dataset 2015 and 2018

See the supplementary data tables 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 Standards Indicator 1.3 Sense of security: Proportion of children and young people in out-of-home care who report feeling safe in and secure in their current placement
  Definition Data source
Numerator Number of children aged 8-17 years in care who report feeling safe and settled in their current placement AIHW Out-of-home care survey national dataset
Denominator Number of responding children aged 8-17 years in the reference period AIHW Out-of-home care survey national dataset

Explanatory notes

Data are sourced from a national survey of children in care. Further interpretive information for the indicators, and background information on the survey, is provided in the AIHW report The views of children and young people in out-of-home care: overview of indicator results from second national survey, 2018.

Children ‘in care’ are those who were residing in out-of-home care (including foster care, relative/kinship care, family group homes, residential care and independent living), whose care arrangements had been ordered by the relevant Children’s Court and where the parental responsibility for the child had been transferred to the Minister or Chief Executive, and who had been on a relevant court order for three months or more. Please note that the titles of the relevant ‘Children’s Courts’ may vary across states/territories.

Children aged 8-17 years were asked four questions ‘Do you feel settled where you live now? By ‘settled’ we mean comfortable and cared for?’, ‘What would need to change for you to feel completely settled?’, ‘Do you feel safe where you live now?’ and ‘What would need to change for you to feel completely safe?’ The first and third questions have been used as the overarching measures for this indicator. These questions had four response categories: Yes completely, Just about, Not really, and Not at all. The remaining questions had open-ended responses, which are detailed in the report.

The numerator includes children who reported ‘Yes completely’ or ‘Just about’ to both questions.

The numerator and denominator exclude children with a ‘not stated’ response for one or both questions.