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CREATE calls for an end to backward practice of detaining kids with a care experience

Written on June 18, 2019

Recent investigations report that children as young as 10, who often have been traumatised by abuse and/or neglect and removed from their families, are being placed in adult watch houses due to a system in crisis.

Young people with an out-of-home care (OOHC) experience (i.e. foster, residential or kinship care) are 16 times more likely to be under a youth justice order compared to the general population (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2018).

CREATE Foundation is the national consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with a care experience. CREATE develops policy and research to report on and advocate for a better care system.

CREATE Foundation’s CEO Jacqui Reed said today that “These reports continue and are appalling. We are talking about children and young people.  CREATE calls for the humane treatment of all children and young people in need of care and protection, regardless of any involvement they may also have with youth justice.

CREATE again calls for training, resourcing and support of justice system personnel, at all levels of the system, on management of a young person who has experienced significant trauma”. 


To gain a better understanding of the engagement and experiences of young people from OOHC in the justice system, CREATE facilitated interviews with 148 young people with a care experience from throughout Australia. Read the insights from young people on what they experienced and what can be done to improve the justice system and protect others in future via this link to CREATE’s Youth Justice Report (2018): https://create.org.au/publications/research-reports/


For more information please visit the CREATE website at www.create.org.au


Key statistics on the care sector in Australia:

45,800 children were in out-of-home care across Australia at 30 June 2018

Young people in out-of-home care are 16 times more likely to be under a youth justice order than the general population

35% of young people experience homelessness within the first year of leaving care

46% of males have been involved with the justice system since leaving care

29% of young people who have left care or preparing to leave care are unemployed

36% children and young people in care do not live with any of their siblings who are also in care

Most young people will have between 3 and 6 caseworkers

76% of young people in care over the age of 15 don’t have or are unsure if they have a leaving care plan

McDowall, J. J. (2018). Out of Home Care Children and Young People’s Views After Five Years of National Standards


download media release


For further comment from CREATE’s CEO Jacqui Reed and/or a young person with care experience please call Andrea Doney 0402 050 418 and andrea@admarcoms.com.au