At 30 June, 2020, across Australia, of all children in out of home care:
- 94% were on care and protection orders
- 6% were not on an order
A protection order is put in place to protect someone from another person’s behaviour. These can be known as restraining or apprehended violence orders in states other than Victoria.
Large numbers of children are in continuous care as a result of the behaviour of adults.
Nationally approximately 46,000 children in out-of-home care at 30 June, 2020 (81%) have been in continuous care for 1 year or more. Of those young people:
- 28% had been in out-of-home care for 2-5 years
- 39% for 5 years or more
- 19% for less than a year
The number of children in care is increasing, not decreasing.
Between 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2020, the number of children in out-of-home care rose 7% from 43,100 to 46,000. Nationally, the rate for children in out-of-home care has been relatively stable at 8 per 1,000 children from 30 June 2017 to 30 June 2020.
Previous year fluctuations in numbers up and down.
Between 2016–17 and 2017–18, the number of children admitted to out-of-home care fell by 3% (from around 11,600 to 11,300). This was followed by a rise of 10% over the following 2 years, to 12,300 in 2019–20.
Those leaving out-of-home care is not as high as those entering it.
While those entering care is 8 per 1,000 children in the past 3 years (2017-2020), the number of children leaving care over a similar period (2016 – 2020) is 2 per 1,000 children. So there are certainly more children entering care than leaving. It is also important to note that between 2016–17 and 2019–20, the rates of children aged 15–17 discharged from out-of-home care were consistently higher than for any other age group.
More carers can help meet this rising need.
As you can see from the data above, the more foster carers we have, to meet the needs of growing numbers of children and young people needing stable, caring and compassionate homes, the bigger difference we can all make together.
Source of figures and data: Child Protection Australia 2019-20