Annual Report 2016-2017 Office of the Children's Commissioner Northern Territory
Tabled paper 516
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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Conclusion Of particular concern this reporting period was a rise in the number of children abused with the recorded placement type being foster care. Thirty two of the total cases involved children in foster care. Foster carers play a critical role in the child protection system and are given significant responsibility with respect to the day to day care of children in OoHC. The reasons behind these numbers, the support provided to foster carers and screening procedures should be reviewed regularly. Children removed from their families and placed into care should be safe and well cared for in OoHC. The number of cases where Territory Families have substantiated harm or exploitation where a child or young person is self-placing care has decreased in 2016-17 (13) from 2015-16 (18). However, it is important to recognise that children who are self-placing generally have limited contact with professionals and as a result the number of cases of harm and exploitation of a child in care who is self-placing is likely to be underreported. The most common type of harm or exploitation in care in 2016-17 was emotional harm (58 per cent) followed by neglect (25 per cent). Emotional harm reports have increased significantly since 2015-16 and may be the result of children witnessing violence. Professionals and the community generally have an increased understanding of the harm caused to children who are present when an adult is subject to domestic violence. In this reporting period the OCC has considered for the first time victims of crime assistance applications with respect to children in care where harm or exploitation has been substantiated. On a number of files it was clear that a child may have had OFFICE OF THE CHILDRENS COMMISSIONER NORTHERN TERRITORY ANNUAL REPORT 2016-1772
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