ABORIGINAL children are more than 10 times as likely as non-Aboriginal children to be removed from their parents and taken into out-of-home care, and that gap is increasing, new figures reveal.
The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services, to be released today, will show that 5.7 per cent of all indigenous children were living in out-of-home care as at June 30, 2103, compared to just 0.5 per cent of non-indigenous children.
Indigenous children made up more than a third of all children in out-of-home care — 13,914 out of a total 40,624 children in care.
The figures show that the number and rate of children being taken into care across the nation has been increasing since 2009, but for indigenous children those figures have been increasing at a faster rate.
In 2009, the rate of non-indigenous children living in care was 4.9 per 1000 children — a figure that increased to 5.3 per 1000 children in 2013. The rate for all children was 7.7 per 1000 children.
However, for indigenous children, that rate has jumped from 44.8 per 1000 children in 2009 to 56.9 per 1000 children in 2013.
Indigenous children are also far more likely to be the subject of a child protection notification.
Nationally, 14 per cent of all Aboriginal children were the subject of a child protection notification in 2012-13. This compared to just 3 per cent of non-indigenous children.
NSW has by far the highest rate of Aboriginal children being removed from their families. As at June 30, 2013, 8.5 per cent of indigenous children were living in out-of-home care.
This was followed by the ACT, which had 6.3 per cent of Aboriginal children in care, South Australia with 6.1 per cent, Victoria with 5.9 per cent, Western Australia with 5.7 per cent, Queensland with 4.4 per cent and Tasmania with 2.8 per cent.
The Northern Territory had the lowest rate, with 2.2 per cent of Aboriginal children in care.
However, NSW had the best rate of placing indigenous children with relatives or kin, at more than 60 per cent.
This compared to a national average of just 52.5 per cent. A further 16.3 per cent of indigenous children in out-of-home care nationally were placed with other indigenous carers.