Children on care and protection orders

Across Australia, 67,200 children were on a care and protection order during 2017–18 (approximately 1 in 82 children aged 0–17).

At 30 June 2018, 56,400 (approximately 1 in 99) children aged 0–17 were on a care and protection order. Of these children, almost two-thirds (63% or 35,800) were on finalised guardianship or custody orders.

For further information about children on care and protection orders in 2017–18 who also received specialist homelessness services, see Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18.

Children admitted to, and discharged from orders

In 2017–18, 12,000 children were admitted to orders. Among this group, three-quarters (75%) were admitted to an order for the first time. Children may be admitted (or re-admitted) to a care and protection order for a number of reasons, including substantiated abuse; irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between the child and their parents; or where parents were unwilling and/or unable to adequately care for the child.

In 2017–18, 11,500 children were discharged from care and protection orders.

Of these children, 39% had been continuously on an order for less than 12 months; 22% had spent 1 to less than 2 years on an order and 15% had spent 8 years or more (Figure 9).