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Qld Child Safety September quarterly data plus Productivity Commission annual report released: what do the figures say?

by PeakCare Qld on 25th January 2017

Home -> Articles -> 2017 -> January -> Qld Child Safety September quarterly data plus Productivity Commission annual report released: what do the figures say?

The Australian Government Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services (ROGS) Chapter 15, which covers Australia’s child protection services, was released on 24th January 2017. The Queensland Government has also released Child Safety’s September 2016 quarterly data.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman’s media release says the data show signs of improvement for Queensland’s system “for the first time in almost 3 years” and “we are beginning to turn the corner in these performance measures”. She cites an increased number of intakes and notifications yet improved timeliness in commencing investigations; a drop in the number of children re-entering the child protection system; more children living with kinship carers; and 116 more carer families. More Child Safety frontline staff and specialist investigation teams, the message of ‘play your part’ getting through to friends and family, and the growing investment in early intervention and prevention are largely credited with driving the improvements.

As we head to another 26th January and the 20th anniversary of the release of the Bringing Them Home Report, it’s timely to look at how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are faring. A headline indicator for the Family Matters campaign is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out of home care. Across Australia, from 2015 to 2016, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care increased from 15455 to 16846, an increase from 35% to 36.3% of all children in out of home care. To read about SNAICC’s disappointment in this, read their media release.

In Queensland, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out of home care increased from 3512 at 30 June 2015 to 3619 at 30 June 2016, and increased the percentage of Indigenous children in out of home care from 41.3% to 41.7%. The percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living with kinship carers increased from 41.8% to 42.6% but remains lower than the percentage of non-Indigenous children living with kinship carers (45.7% at 30 June 2016). There was an increase from 2015 to 2016 in the number (1411 to 1563) and percentage (34.1% to 39.3%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children commencing intensive family support services. For more, read the Family Matters media release.

PeakCare looks forward to bringing you more commentary about the Productivity Commission’s report and Queensland’s child protection data as at 30 September 2016 over oncoming weeks.

Tracey Smith
Principal Policy Adviser

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