10.2 Sense of community

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 in care have the opportunity to participate in decision-making about their lives.

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 their sense of community connection through knowledge of family background, participation in religion, beliefs or customs, contact with friends, and whether their life history was being recorded (for example photos, memory box). For these data, sense of community connection is demonstrated when children report ‘at least some’ for the area in question.

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.

Proportions include responses where the child indicated ‘at least some’ sense of community connection for the area in question. 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 10.2 Sense of community: Proportion of children and young people who demonstrate having a sense of connection with the community in which they live
  Definition Data source
Numerator Number of children aged 8-17 years in care who report they have at least some knowledge of their family background and culture 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 in relation to this indicator: ‘How much do you know about your family background and your culture?’, ‘Do you keep things about your life, such as photos, a life story book, or a memory box?’, ‘How much can you follow your culture where you live? By ‘culture’ we mean things like your religion, beliefs and customs.’ and ‘Do you see your close friends as much as you want?’

The question ‘How much do you know about your family background and your culture?’ has been used as the overarching measure for this indicator. This question had four response categories: A lot, Quite a bit, Some things, and Nothing.

The numerator includes children who reported ‘A lot’, ‘Quite a bit’ or ‘Some things’ to the question.

The numerator and denominator exclude children with a ‘not stated’ response to the questions.

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