National Child Protection Week

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4th September 2009, 03:01pm - Views: 987

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Commemorating National Child Protection Week (6-12 September), Save the Children Australia

believes that early intervention in child protection cases to support families, better co-ordination

between Federal and State Governments and broader education about child protection services

would help eradicate child abuse in Australia. 

“Many Australians would be shocked to learn that every two minutes an incident of child abuse or

neglect is reported in our country – but it is a frightening reality that shouldn’t be happening,” said

Suzanne Dvorak, CEO of Save the Children Australia. “It’s time to put an end to child abuse.” 

A recent report by The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare¹ found that the number of

children on care and protection orders continues to rise nationally. Other key findings of the

research include:

Children aged under one year were most likely to be the subject of abuse, neglect or


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were clearly over-represented in the child

protection system, with Indigenous children aged 0–16 years more than six times as likely

to be the subject of substantiations than other children.

The rate of Indigenous children in out-of-home care was almost nine times the rate of

other children. 

The number of children in out-of-home care, mainly foster care, rose by almost 115% in

the decade to June 2008: from 14,470 at 30 June 1998 to 31,166 at 30 June 2008.

In New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital

Territory, the most common type of maltreatment was emotional abuse. In the Northern

Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia the most common type of maltreatment was


“Through Save the Children Australia’s Future Parents Program, young adults are educated about

child health, safety and practical skills to care for younger children,” said Ms Dvorak.

“Save the Children supports the National Child Protection Framework, which provides an

integrated response from Federal and State Governments in tackling the broader problem of child


“Early intervention aimed at supporting families and preventing child abuse incidences, combined

with education about health, counselling and housing support services, would help thousands of

Australian children and spare them from the over-burdened statutory care system.”


Save the Children Australia operates programs in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea,

Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The organisation also supports development programs through the International Save

the Children Alliance, which works in more than 100 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. For more information,

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with Save the Children Australia’s Child

Rights Specialist, contact Annie Lawson - 0437 355 096 



Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2009. Child protection Australia 2007–08. Child welfare

series no.45 Cat. no. CWS 33. Canberra: AIHW.

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