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Report on Government Services 2017

Volume F, Chapter 16

Child protection services

This chapter reports on the performance of governments in providing child protection, out-of-home care and family support services.

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  • Key Facts
  • Indicator Framework
  • Indicator Results
  • Indigenous Data

Nationally 45 714 children aged 0–17 years were the subject of a substantiation in 2015‑16; however the criteria for substantiation vary across jurisdictions.

At 30 June 2016, 51 972 children aged 0–17 years were on care and protection orders nationally, 18 409 of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

At 30 June 2016, 46 448 children were in out-of-home care nationally, 16 846 of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Total recurrent expenditure on child protection, out-of-home care, family support services and intensive family support services was $4.8 billion nationally in 2015-16 — a real increase of $341.2 million (7.7 per cent) from 2014-15.

Child protection services aim to promote child and family wellbeing by enabling families to care for and protect children and young people, and protecting children and young people who are at risk of abuse and neglect within their families or whose families do not have the capacity to provide care and protection, and supporting children and young people in the child protection system to reach their potential.

To achieve these aims, governments seek to provide child protection services that:

  • are responsive, ensuring that notifications are responded to, and investigations are completed, in a timely and appropriate manner
  • are targeted to children and young people who are at greatest risk
  • support and strengthen families so that children can live in a safe and stable family environment
  • provide quality care for children and young people aged 0–17 years who cannot live with their parents for reasons of safety or family crisis, with an emphasis on safety, stability and permanency in children's living arrangements
  • meet the needs of individual children and young people in the child protection system.

Governments aim for child protection services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.

The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of child protection services. The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in the 2017 Report.

Indicator framework

An overview of the Child protection services performance indicator results are presented. Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found in the indicator interpretation boxes in the Child protection services chapter and attachment tables.

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Equity indicators

Disproportionality

Disproportionality ratio for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable or complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Notifications 3.96 4.48 3.73 5.17 5.20 1.06 4.16 1.80 ..
Commencing IFSS 5.75 3.90 4.94 5.33 9.10 na 10.98 na ..
Investigations 4.72 6.68 3.80 6.13 7.01 1.99 8.01 1.90 ..
Substantiations 5.65 7.41 4.36 6.84 7.82 2.06 8.90 2.00 ..
Care and protection orders 6.67 11.10 5.31 8.41 7.16 2.76 9.62 2.10 ..
Out of home care 6.90 11.87 5.32 8.57 7.30 2.70 9.39 2.12 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.5

Effectiveness — Child protection services indicators

Response times — commencing investigations

Proportion of investigations commenced within 7 days of notification, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 62.7 75.3 28.1 70.0 76.4 13.6 64.7 85.6 62.2

Source: Attachment table 16A.14

Proportion of investigations commenced from 29 days or more from notification, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 15.3 1.8 46.7 16.0 8.2 58.8 4.4 2.1 16.4

Source: Attachment table 16A.14

Response times — completing investigations

Proportion of investigations completed within 28 days of notification, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 54.5 32.2 16.1 18.1 19.5 19.6 15.9 45.6 40.7

Source: Attachment table 16A.15

Proportion of investigations completed in more than 90 days from notification, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 11.8 21.0 31.9 41.9 40.6 36.4 8.7 14.8 19.4

Source: Attachment table 16A.15

Substantiation rate

Proportion of finalised child protection investigations that were substantiated, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 36.7 54.6 33.3 43.2 46.9 71.9 29.0 34.1 40.3

Source: Attachment table 16A.10

Effectiveness — Out-of-home care indicators

Safety in out-of-home care

Children in care who were the subject of a substantiation and the person responsible was living in the household providing out‑of‑home care, as a proportion of all children in care, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are neither comparable or complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 0.5 1.3 1.5 0.1 na 0.5 1.4 na ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.26

Stability of placement

Proportion of children on a care and protection order exiting care after less than 12 months in 1 or 2 placements, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 93.4 89.2 82.1 80.6 80.4 91.7 76.7 82.4 87.5

Source: Attachment table 16A.25

Proportion of children on a care and protection order exiting care after 12 months or more in 1 or 2 placements, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 50.0 51.0 36.9 51.5 45.7 44.4 71.1 30.6 46.3

Source: Attachment table 16A.25

Children aged under 12 years in home-based care

Proportion of children aged under 12 years in out‑of‑home care who were in a home‑based placement at 30 June 2016

Most recent data for this measure are comparable (subject to caveats) and complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 99.1 99.2 97.6 94.6 88.4 96.3 96.5 92.7 97.4

Source: Attachment table 16A.24

Placement maintains connections

Proportion of children in out-of-home care placed with relatives/kin, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable (subject to caveats) and complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 50.9 56.4 44.3 49.1 45.3 29.0 53.2 4.9 48.7

Source: Attachment table 16A.22

Proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed in accordance with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable (subject to caveats) and complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 81.0 74.8 56.6 62.6 62.9 38.2 60.4 36.2 67.9

Source: Attachment table 16A.23

Children with current documented case plans

Proportion of children with current documented case plans, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are neither comparable or complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 84.8 84.3 96.6 84.2 na 55.4 71.7 na 86.3

Source: Attachment table 16A.16

Efficiency — Child protection services indicators

Total expenditure on all child protection activities per notification, investigation and substantiation

Expenditure per notification, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 3 009 2 121 15 312 8 740 1 182 1 422 1 009 1 540 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.2

Expenditure per investigation, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 5 000 7 989 15 312 12 452 5 212 10 852 5 274 4 009 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.2

Expenditure per substantiation, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 13 918 15 254 56 646 34 392 13 638 18 866 23 915 17 538 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.2

Efficiency — Out-of-home care services indicators

Out‑of‑home care expenditure per placement night

Cost per placement night, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 163 149 148 171 260 128 142 302 166

Source: Attachment table 16A.28

Total expenditure on residential and non-residential out‑of‑home care per child in residential and non-residential out‑of‑home care

Cost per child in residential and non-residential out-of-home care, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 57 800 50 702 53 764 61 291 89 432 45 431 48 994 108 154 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.3

Outcome indicators

Improved safety

Substantiation rate after decision not to substantiate, 3 months, 2014‑15

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 4.9 5.5 4.1 3.1 8.0 9.3 5.3 4.8 np

Source: Attachment table 16A.11

Substantiation rate after decision not to substantiate, 12 months, 2014‑15

Data for this measure are not comparable, but are complete (subject to caveats)
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 14.0 15.9 10.6 9.7 19.0 24.5 12.0 14.0 np

Source: Attachment table 16A.11

Substantiation rate after a prior substantiation, 3 months, 2014‑15

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 9.1 3.0 7.1 5.4 10.6 4.8 12.9 8.4 np

Source: Attachment table 16A.12

Substantiation rate after a prior substantiation, 12 months, 2014‑15

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 21.9 15.8 17.1 15.9 22.1 24.2 27.4 21.0 np

Source: Attachment table 16A.12

Improved education

Children on guardianship/custody orders achieving the national benchmarks, reading, 2013

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 86.0 79.2 78.0 80.1 78.9 79.2 88.2 66.7 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.13

Children on guardianship/custody orders achieving the national benchmarks, numeracy, 2013

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 74.9 71.5 64.5 64.8 62.9 70.2 88.9 41.7 ..

Source: Attachment table 16A.13

Notes

These data and caveats for these data are available in chapter 16 and attachment 16A.

na Not available. .. Not applicable. np Not published.

Performance indicator data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this chapter are available in the attachment tables listed below. Contextual data and further supporting information can be found in the chapter.

Indigenous child protection data
Table number Table title
Table 16A.5 Disproportionality ratios for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
Table 16A.6 Child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations by Indigenous status
Table 16A.7 Number of children admitted to and discharged from care and protection orders by Indigenous status
Table 16A.9 Children in notifications, investigations and substantiations and on care and protection orders, per 1000 children in the target population, and by Indigenous status
Table 16A.16 Children with documented case plans, by Indigenous status, at 30 June
Table 16A.18 Children in out-of-home care by Indigenous status and placement type, at 30 June (number)
Table 16A.22 Children in out-of-home care placed with relatives/kin by Indigenous status, 30 June
Table 16A.23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by relationship of caregiver, 30 June
Table 16A.24 Children aged under 12 years in out-of-home care and in a home-based placement, by Indigenous status, at 30 June
Table 16A.30 Intensive family support services: number of children aged 0–17 years commencing intensive family support services by Indigenous status and gender
Table 16A.34 Target population data used for end of financial year data, March ('000)