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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 9 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3996..

Children and young people—abuse

Ms BURCH (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Le Couteur on Wednesday, 24 August 2011): The counting rules for reports of abuse for children and young people in out of home care are complex. A child may be in an out of home care placement but visiting home or are with friends when the report is received. Allegations in Child Protection may not be substantiated. A more reliable figure in

relation to abuse in out of home care is that supplied annually to the Report on Government Services on substantiations.

The ACT Government reports annually to the Report on Government Services on "Children in out-of-home care by whether they were the subject of child protection substantiation and the person believed responsible was in the household".

The counting rule for this figure includes "children in at least one out-of-home care placement during the year ended 30 June 2010, who were the subject of a child protection substantiation whilst in out-of-home care in 2009-10, regardless of the date of notification, and the person believed responsible was living in the household providing out-of-home care (or a worker in a residential facility in which the child was living) at the time the harm, abuse and/or neglect occurred."As the report notes, the threshold for substantiating harm or risk involving children in care is lower than that for children in the care of their parents.

In the period approximating the time since the beginning of this Assembly, 2008-09 and 2009-10, there were 16 cases of children in care in the ACT who were the subject of substantiation where the person responsible was in the household. The 2010-11 data are currently being compiled and verified.

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