Overrepresentation of Aboriginal kids in out-of-home care
Aboriginal children are being taken away from their families at a rate faster than at any time during the Stolen Generation.
Today, one in six Aboriginal children are in State care and the number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care is nine times higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal children.
Aboriginal children make up 24% of all children in out-of-home care. Aboriginal children taken from their homes are the most vulnerable children in our society.
Young people who have been in out-of-home care are heavily over-represented in the population of child homelessness and those engaged in the juvenile justice system.
The younger a child experiences a period of juvenile justice supervision, the more likely they are to re-enter juvenile justice supervision during subsequent years (AIHW 2007).
Young people tend to remain in custody because they are homeless and government departments do not provide the support requested by the Court.
Aboriginal young people are more likely to be referred to court at a younger age than non-Aboriginal young people.
An Aboriginal young person who appears before a NSW court between 10-14 years of age is 60% more likely to end up in prison when they are 18-22 years old. Aboriginal juveniles on supervised orders who have had a care and protection order have close to 100% chance of progressing to the adult corrections system (Criminology Research Council 2002).
More than two-thirds of young people who receive a control order from the NSW Children’s Court are convicted of a further offence within two years of their custodial order. Within NSW, 48% of the budget of the Department of Juvenile Justice is spent keeping juvenile offenders in custody (Criminology Research Council 2009/10, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice, personal communication 2009).
Childhood homelessness, being in out-of-home care and/or juvenile justice systems are strong predictors of adult homelessness (Anglicare 2008).