The Issue

Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia’s biggest and most misunderstood social problems.


Child Abuse and Neglect in Australia

Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia’s biggest and most misunderstood social problems. children were confirmed to have been abused last year*.

That’s one child every 11 minutes suffering physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect, often by someone they know and should be able to trust; most often in their own home. Thousands more cases go unreported, and the number of children and young people in out-of-home care is increasing.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Child protection Australia 2019-20.

Last year, over


reports were made to child protection authorities

Sadly, over


children accessed child protective services


1 in 32

Aussie kids. This needs to change.

Preventing Abuse and Neglect

Whether you are a parent, relative, teacher, nurse, friend or neighbour, you can play a significant role in preventing child abuse and neglect.

Some simple but powerful things you can do:



If you’re a parent and need support there are a lot of services available to help with a variety of different issues, from budgeting to managing difficult behaviour. Many of these services are provided free of charge from organisations like Act for Kids.



Sometimes parents just need to let out some of their stress and feelings, don’t judge them or interrupt, show genuine interest in how they feel. If you’re worried about them suggest they could also talk to their doctor, a counsellor or a parent helpline.



Take the time to listen to the kids you know, engage with them and build relationships. It’s important for kids to have several safe people in their lives, not just their parents.



If you’re a parent, connect with the other parents you know through school or sport/hobby groups. They share the same challenges, offer support and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Offer Help

Offer Help

Offer help if you see parents struggling, it can make a big difference. You can also make some quick enquiries about free support in your local area, perhaps there’s a free class at the PCYC that you can suggest for your neighbour’s kids so they learn something new, burn some energy, make friends and their parents get a break.



Local authorities can link families to support services to help them address any issues that might be causing stress and compromising the safety and wellbeing of their children. If you don’t speak up, who will? You can remain anonymous and you could be the person who makes a real difference to a child’s life.

Acknowledgement of Country

Act for Kids pays its respects to the traditional custodians across the lands in which we work, and acknowledge their elders past, present and future.