Indigenous kids more at risk of death, injury and abuse: AIHW report

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A new report has found Indigenous children are nearly eight times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be the subject of substantiated child abuse or neglect.

A new report has found Indigenous children are nearly eight times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be the subject of substantiated child abuse or neglect.

The report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) also found Indigenous children were nine times as likely to be on a Care and Protection Order, and almost two and a half times more likely to die in transport accidents on land.

The chief executive of Kidsafe Queensland, Susan Teerds, says her organisation hopes to cut the number of Indigenous children killed in road accidents.

"We have received funding to train indigenous health workers primarily in understanding the laws around the use of car child restraints and the installation and how to use them properly," she told SBS.

"We know that in indigenous and multicultural populations they trust their child health nurses. So we thought it was a better idea to train these people up because they are reaching into the far corners of the state."

Between 2006 and 2007, the most common injuries leading to hospitalisation in kids aged up to 14 years included falls, land transport accidents, accidental poisoning, burns, scalds, and assault. In 2005 to 2006, transport accidents and intentional self-harm were the leading causes of injury in teenagers aged 15 to 17.

The report also indicated that Indigenous children were more likely to access specialist homelessness services, and were over-represented in the youth justice system.

"In 2012-13, almost 1 in 3 children aged 0-17 who received assistance from a specialist homelessness agency were Indigenous," said AIHW spokesperson Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman.

"By comparison, Indigenous children comprise 5.5 per cent of the total Australian child population."

Between 2012 and 2013, Indigenous young people aged 10-17 years were 17 times more likely to be under youth justice supervision. In that age group, 39 per cent of all males and 45 per cent of all females were Indigenous.

"There is good news, however, in that the Indigenous rate of youth justice supervision has fallen over time," Dr Al-Yaman said.

Source SBS

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