Territory Stories

Department of Children and Families annual report 2015-2016



Department of Children and Families annual report 2015-2016


Territory Families; Reports; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Child welfare –- Government Policy -- Northern Territory –- Periodicals; Child abuse –- Prevention -- Northern Territory –- Periodicals

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Department of Children and Families

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Department of chilDren anD families | AnnuAl RepoRt 2015-1623 Part 2: Perform ance Aboriginal children are significantly over represented in the Northern Territory child protection system with 85 per cent of substantiated cases relating to Aboriginal families. Of these a high proportion were for neglect and emotional abuse relating to children under the age of 10. ChArt 5: Substantiated Cases by Age and Indigenous Indicator in 2015-16 0 100 200 300 400 500 Non-IndigenousIndigenous 14 and older10 to 13 6 to 93 to 5 younger than 3 34 45 75 81 47 185 335 371 280 454 tAke eFFeCtive ACtion to Address unsAFe situAtions For Children The core business of the Department in response to known risks to children is to make those children safe. When an investigation substantiates harm, the Department conducts an assessment of the childs safety and determines an appropriate course of action. The Department can: work with the family to address safety concerns close the case as requiring no further action because the risks that led to the child being harmed have already been resolved by the primary caregiver apply to the court for a care and protection order, that will remove parental responsibility from the person who caused or enabled the harm. Of the 1,907 investigations substantiated in 2015-16, 315 individual children were taken into the care of the Chief Executive Officer. In comparison, on 30 June 2016, the Department was working with the parents and caregivers of 1,515 children who had been assessed to be at risk, but whose situation did not warrant their removal. In these situations the Department works with families to provide ongoing intervention to address the issues that gave rise to the harm (for example drug and alcohol misuse, family violence, mental health). When working with families who have been identified as having risk factors the Department conducts regular risk re-assessments to ensure that progress is being made. The Strengthening Families and Remote Family Support workforce takes a lead role for these families to ensure that sustainable changes are made. Over 2015-16 the Department held 48 Child Safety Coordination Group meetings in the remote communities of Maningrida, Wadeye, Yuendumu, Yirrkala and Borroloola. Chaired by Remote Family Support Team Leaders these multi-agency forums give local service providers a regular opportunity to discuss individual children of concern and agree on action. The group uses its collective knowledge to provide integrated and local responses to keep children safe and connected within their families and communities.

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