In Australia, state and territory governments are responsible for statutory child protection. Relevant departments support vulnerable children who have been, or are at risk of being, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed, or whose parents are unable to provide adequate care or protection.

In 2021–22, around 1 in 32 (178,000) Australian children aged under 18 came into contact with the child protection system. Contact includes investigations (which may or may not lead to substantiated child maltreatment), care and protection order and/or out-of-home care placements.

Featured reports

Latest findings

In 2021–22, about 178,000 children came into contact with the system, a decrease from about 179,000 in 2020–21

Compared to 2020–21, the number of children with a substantiation of abuse in care decreased by 6% from 1,300 to 1,200

Since 2016–17, 4 out of 5 First Nations children who were reunified did not return to care in the next 12 months

For children discharged from out-of-home care in 2021–22, 46% were reunified with their families

More reports and statistics on child protection can be found under Adoptions and Children & youth.