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.

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 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.

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