Previous research finds that…
- During 2012-13, there were 184,216 Australian children suspected of being harmed or at risk of harm from abuse and/or neglect. This resulted in 272,980 notifications being issued by state and territory authorities (a rate of 35.5 notifications per 1,000 Australian children).
- Between 2011-12 and 2012-13 the total number of notifications increased by almost 8 per cent from the 252,962 reports made in the previous year.
- Most allegations of harm/risk of harm relate to physical abuse (20%) or sexual abuse (13%). However, the harm types most commonly substantiated were emotional abuse and child neglect.
- In a survey of child protection workers, 57 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, of workers reported they thought parents had total or a great deal of responsibility for the safety of children. Eight per cent and 65 per cent, respectively, of child protection workers thought the government had total or a great deal of responsibility for the safety of children.
 While these numbers may reflect an actual change in the magnitude of child maltreatment in Australia, it is also possible that the numbers of notifications may reflect changes in legislation, public awareness, and/or child protection process enquiries.