The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) recently released the Child Protection Australia 2021-2022 report, which provides insights into child protection responses across the country. According to the report, there has been no decrease in the number of children whose experiences of harm have been substantiated, with 45,500 children affected nationwide.
Emotional abuse accounted for 57% of substantiated maltreatment cases, followed by neglect at 21%. This highlights the importance of addressing not only physical harm but also the emotional safety of children. It echoes the findings of the Australian Child Maltreatment Study earlier this year, which highlighted the extensive prevalence of emotional abuse in Australia.
The data further reveals that children living in very remote areas are almost four times more likely to experience maltreatment compared to those in major cities. This stark disparity emphasises the urgent need for targeted interventions in regional and remote areas.
Fams stands firmly behind NAPCAN’s call for a National Summit to prevent child maltreatment and urges the sector to support this vital national campaign. We are also eager to see how New South Wales government responds to this data, which has shed light on the critical need for investment in early intervention and prevention strategies.