12.2 Foster care numbers

Foster care is one type of out-of-home care provided for children who are unable to live with their families.

Foster care households are private households containing one or more foster carers:

  • who have undergone the relevant screening/selection and approval process
  • who have received authorisation from the relevant department or agency to enable a child to be placed in their care
  • for whom reimbursement is available from the state or territory government for expenses incurred in caring for a child
  • who are part of an ongoing review process.

This indicator provides information on households that commenced or exited foster care during the year. It also provides the number of foster care households on an average day during the year.

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 number of foster carer households commencing during the year, exiting during the year and on an average day during the year, 2012–13 to 2019–20. The number was 2,098 commencing, 1,558 existing and 5,323 on an average day for 2019–20.

Source: AIHW Child Protection Data Collection

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 12.2 Foster carer household numbers: The number of foster carer households commencing during the year, the number of foster carer households exiting during the year, and the number of foster carer households on an average day during the year
  1. Commencing
  2. Exiting
  3. On an average day
Definition Data source
Numerator
  1. Number of carer households that received authorisation to provide foster care placements in the reference period
  2. Number of carer households whose authorisation to provide foster care placements ceased during the reference period
  3. Number of authorised days for all foster carer households in the reference period
AIHW National Child Protection Data Collection
Denominator a, b, c. Not applicable a, b, c. Not applicable

Explanatory notes

Includes all foster carer households that had received authorisation from the relevant department or agency to enable a child to be placed in their care are included. This includes households that have received provisional authorisation (which may be in order to facilitate a placement), whilst formal approval/registration is being finalised.