Statistics about children and young people in care and those in secure detention*
At 31 December 2008, 2,030 children and young people were in the care and guardianship of the Minister for Families and Communities under 12 month or guardianship to 18 years orders. An additional 27 were on Investigaton and Assessment Orders. They had the following characteristics:
Type of guardianship (of those on 18 year and 12 month orders)
- Order to 18 years – 81.4%
- 12 month Order – 18.6%
Ages (of those on 18 year and 12 month orders)
- 0 to 1 – 6.7%
- 2 to 4 – 15.8%
- 5 to 9 – 29.5%
- 10 to 14 – 29.7%
- 15 to 17 – 18.3%
Gender (of those on 18 year and 12 month orders)
- Male – 51.7%
- Female – 48.1%
- Undetermined – 0.2%
Aboriginality (of those on 18 year and 12 month orders)
- Indigenous – 23.9%
- Non-Indigenous – 75.2%
- Undetermined – 0.9 %
At the end of 2008 there were a total of 244 children under guardianship receiving a service from Disability SA and Novita, 12 per cent of the total. (Disability SA)
At Term 1 2007, of the 993 children in care located in the DECS enrolment system, 39 per cent were classified as having a disability. Their primary disabilities were language and communication (26.6 per cent), intellectual (9.8 percent), physical (1.6 per cent) and sensory – hearing or vision – (1.0 per cent ). (Department for Education and Children’s Services)
Of the 1,886 children and young people in alternative care at 31 December 2008, the care arrangements were as follows:
- Foster care – 49.4%
- Relative and kinship care – 37.1%
- Financially assisted adoption – 0.2%
- Families SA residential care – 5.1%
- NGO residential care – 2.0%
- Emergency and short term accommodation – 6.4%
In their passage through the care system, children will generally change placement a number of times. Of the 1,886 children and young people in alternative care at 31 December 2008, their experiences were:
- First placement – 4.1%
- One – 16.4%
- Two to five – 42.3%
- Six to ten – 20.3%
- More than ten – 16.9%
The number of children and young people in the care of the Minister has grown steadily from 1,441 in June 2005 to 2,030 in December 2008.
Children and young people in secure detention in South Australia are housed in either the Magill or Cavan Centres.
In 2007-08 there were 1,030 admissions to secure care representing 525 individual young people and the average daily occupancy of the two secure training centres was 71.95.
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*The statistics on this page are mainly drawn from Families SA figures on children and young people under the guardianship of the Minister and Australian Insitute of Health and Welfare data on children and young people in alternative care. Those under guardianship and those under alternative care are overlapping populations; that is most,but not all, children in alternative care are on a custody or guardianship order, and similarly, most, but not all, children under the guardianship of the Minister are in alternative care. However, the numbers of these two populations are different, and exact comparisons should not be made.