Child Protection: The Real Issues

  • In 2017-18 a total of 159,000 children received child protection services, with 72% being repeat clients. This is 1 in 35 children in Australia.


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continued to be over-represented. In 2017-18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 8 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to receive child protection services.


  • Emotional abuse and neglect are the most common primary and co-occurring types of substantiated abuse and neglect.


  • In 2017-18 half of the children in relative/kinship placements were with grandparents. 23% were placed with an aunt or uncle and 16% were placed with a non -familial relationship carer.


  • Children from geographically remote areas had the highest rates of substantiations. In 2017-18 children from very remote areas were 4 times as likely as those from major cities to be the subject of a substantiation.


 For more information please visit the

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Contact Us

Australian Centre for Child Protection


Phone: +61 (08) 8302 2874




Email us:


Twitter icon Follow us on Twitter: @ACCPUniSA

About Us

"Ensuring that each child can grow and develop in a safe, supportive environment, to reach their potential, is a responsibility that we, as a society, share.

Sadly, not every child has that opportunity. The effects of child abuse and neglect can last a lifetime and have been associated with outcomes including drug and alcohol abuse, violence and criminal offending, the abuse and neglect of one's own children and tragically, suicide.

Our national Centre exists to bridge the gap between what is known and what is done to transform the lives of children who have experienced or who are at risk of experiencing abuse and neglect.

Historically, there has been relatively little research to inform policy makers and service providers on the most effective strategies to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect, but our work as a Centre means the Australian evidence base in this area is steadily growing.

Through rigorous research we are rapidly expanding the Australian knowledge base about the impact of risk factors on children and families, and our practice knowledge regarding what can be done to address these risks, in complex social environments. 

Our ability to provide policy advice, advocacy and professional education is informed by this research, and is applied through strategic partnerships with government and community social service agencies across the country.

Our expertise has transformed the child protection policy and practice landscape in Australia and we continue to champion the rights of children and their families to timely, evidence-based services and supports. Our work has also led to the creation of practical, relevant tools and techniques that frontline staff in child and family protective services can use, in order to truly help children and families.

Strengthening the capacity of families and communities to nurture and care for their children within Australia, and throughout the world is our priority."

Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection, Professor Leah Bromfield.

Watch our video








Learn how we can support you

  • Centre's Team Leaders

    Our Team

    Our team has multidisciplinary expertise spanning research, evaluation, and delivering policy and practice solutions

    Meet our team

  • Centre Ambassador Aunt Sue Blacklock

    Our Supporters

    We are supported by our Ambassador for Children Aunt Sue Blacklock, and our National Advisory Council.

    See our Supporters

  • Centre staff in collaboration

    Our Partners

    Learn more about the Centre's national and international collaborations.

    View our partnerships

  • blue map of world

    Our Services

    The Centre provides a wide variety of services for child and family protective services.    

    Learn about our services