Media Releases - 12 July 2023

Better data still needed for Tasmanian Out-of-Home Care

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today reiterated her call for improved data on Tasmania’s Out-of-Home Care system with the release of the second edition of her Monitoring Report No. 2 (Second Edition): Key Data on Tasmania’s Out-Of-Home Care System, 2020-2022.

This second edition delivers on the Commissioner’s commitment to provide an updated report including data up to 30 June 2022. The first edition of this report was published in March 2023. The report provides data about some of the key characteristics of the Tasmanian Out-of-Home Care system for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

“This second edition further increases the transparency of Tasmania’s out-of-home care system by expanding the time-period to include data for 2021-2022,” Ms McLean said.

“The data quality issues that I commented upon with the release of the first edition of my report remain. In saying this, I acknowledge that improving data quality, especially in a demand driven system like the out-of-home care system, is an enormous challenge.

“Accurate and effective data reporting by Government is essential to establish and maintain accountability to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of children in out-of-home care is, and remains, front and centre of everyone’s minds.

“I look forward to learning more about how the Department will implement evidence-based solutions to improve accuracy in data entry, data revision and review, and data reporting.

“These solutions are required to ensure that all data are reliable and reflect the experiences of children and young people in the Out-of-Home Care system in Tasmania.”

Key data insights include:
– Between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 the number of children in care in Tasmania declined. Tasmania continues to have the third highest rate of children in care among all Australian states and territories.
– The over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Tasmania’s out-of-home care system increased in 2021-2022. This continues to represent a substantial challenge to Tasmania to meet its commitments under the Closing the Gap Agreement.
– There remains no detailed data about the placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care.
– There remains a lack of detailed data about whether children in care have disability.
– Active foster care households continued to decline in 2021-2022.
– Expenditure data continues to show a decline in Government investment in the Out-of-Home Care system in Tasmania compared to 2020-2021.
– There remains a lack of data about the number of children and young people in care for whom individualised care planning has occurred.
– The number of visits by Child Safety Officers to children in care has further declined.

The report can be viewed at 2023-07-11-FINAL-Data-Monitoring-Report-No-2-2nd-Ed-2020-2022.pdf (