Child protection and Indigenous status

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publication Child protection in Australia each year reports on child abuse and neglect notifications and substantiations, and the way in which authorities deal with these. In Australia, child protection is the responsibility of community services departments in each state and territory. Following reports of child abuse or neglect (known as notifications), the relevant department launches an investigation. Cases in which abuse or neglect is found to have occurred are known as substantiations, and can lead to an application for a care and protection order before a court. The figure below shows that in 2004-05 Indigenous children in all age groups were much more likely to be the subject of substantiations than non-Indigenous children. The rate of child abuse or neglect substantiations was greatest in the age group 0-4 years for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children (3,236 and 881 per 100,000, respectively), declining with increased age.

Children who were the subject of abuse or neglect substantiations, by age and Indigenous status, 2004-05, rate per 100,000 [see attached PDF for graph]


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2006. Child protection in Australia 2004-05. Canberra: AIHW (Child welfare series no. 38).