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Data released on WA children and young people’s safety and support

Commissioner Colin Pettit has released a new set of wellbeing data on WA’s children and young people.

“Every child or young person has the right to be loved and to feel safe and supported – this involves positive family relationships and connections with other adults, along with personal and community safety,” Mr Pettit said.

Mr Pettit said that while the majority of WA’s 598,000 children and young people are safe and supported, the data showed clear areas of vulnerability that need a strong policy response. Some of the key safe and supported data includes: 

  • 562 children under 10 were reported as victims of family violence in 2017
  • Infants are more likely to be subject to child protection notifications than older children
  • Young women are nine times more likely to be sexually assaulted than young men
  • Aboriginal children are 18 times more likely to be in out-of-home care
  • 802 15-17 year olds presented alone to homelessness services in 2017-18
  • Child poverty is not consistently measured by any government department.

The data is now available on the Commissioner’s Indicators of Wellbeing online resource.

Mr Pettit said that the Indicators provided a single point of reference for policy makers and planners to help them make informed decisions on behalf of WA children and young people, both now and into the future.

“Importantly, the Indicators of Wellbeing are informed by the views of children and young people themselves on what wellbeing means to them and what it means to have a good life,” Mr Pettit said.

“There are clear gaps in the available data. Improving these gaps and the reliability of data should be a priority for everyone to assist in better decision making on behalf of WA children and young people.”

The Indicators of Wellbeing will be updated regularly. The data is structured by three age groups and across three domains: Learning and participating, Healthy and connected and Safe and supported.

In early 2020 the Commissioner will release the findings from the first Speaking Out Survey. This survey included children from across WA and contains findings on how they see their physical and mental health, their safety, the community and their education.