Children in out-of-home care in Australia: international comparisons
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As governments increasingly search globally for strategies to improve child welfare outcomes, it is vital to consider how policies and programs developed in other countries are likely to suit local conditions. Routinely, collected child welfare administrative data can provide contextual information for cross-national comparisons. This article examines out-of-home care in Australia, compared to other developed countries, and explores possible explanations for differences in patterns and trends. In doing so it also examines the similarities and differences between NSW, Victoria and Queensland. It is argued that a sound understanding of how out-of-home care is used, the profile of children in care and the influence of data can assist policy makers to match proposed solutions to clearly understood current problems. The imperative is to plan and implement policies and programs that locate out-of-home care within a range of child welfare services that meet the diverse needs of children and families within local contexts.
Copyright 2008 Children Australia. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.