A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare today has revealed that there is significant overlap between youth who have been under the care of Child Services and Juvenile justice. The report shows that half of children who had been supervised Juvenile Justice have also been in out of home care.

Children who have been in Juvenile Justice are 9 times as likely to have been in out of home care than children in the general population. Similarly, children who have been in out of home care are 9 times more likely to be in Juvenile Justice than the general population. Over 50% of Indigenous children who had received juvenile justice supervision had also received child protection services in the four years between 2014 and 2018.

Once again overwhelmingly Aboriginal children are highly represented in both Juvenile Justice and Child Services.

The report shows that the government is not doing enough to stop children from going from one organisation to the other. Child Services needs to do more to keep children with their parents, community and out of Juvenile Justice.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said:

“These figures are very distressing and confirm the fact that far too many young people cycle between out of home care and juvenile justice.

“Across the country our child protection systems are in deep trouble and are failing to keep children out of harm.

“The fact that so many First Nations children are being held in juvenile detention, as an almost inevitable part of being taken from their families by child protection agencies, confirms that the stolen generations have never re-evaluate ended.

“The answers are complex but start with delivering far greater self determination to First Nations communities to care for their children.

“We need an immediate explanation from Minister Ward as to why the relevant data has not been published for NSW child protection, because clear data is essential for accountability,” Mr Shoebridge said.