Children in Care

Over the past 10 years, the number of children in out-of-home care has risen significantly. According to The Australian Institute of Family Studies, young children up to 18 years are removed from their home when they are unable to live with their families, often due to child abuse, trauma and neglect, resulting in poor health and attachments. The pie chart below shows the percentage of children in Australia who were removed from their homes during 2013-2014 by the type of abuse or neglect. aiwh2015 In the past decade, the number of children in foster care in Australia has doubled – due largely, experts say, to kid being removed younger and staying in care longer. Statistics show that:

  • 92% of children are below the average reading level at age 7. Low levels of literacy is an indicator of poor health associated with disadvantage and a higher chance of being homeless
  • 75% of children in care do not complete 12 years of school. This can have a negative impact on their work and educational outcomes
  • 35% of children in care are entering the juvenile justice system

Poor literacy is often repeated from one generation to the next, which creates chronic disadvantage within families and communities. Unfortunately, there is evidence that a considerable proportion of children living in out of home care (foster care) are not meeting national benchmarks of literacy and numeracy and this means children in care are at far greater risk of poorer educational outcomes than other children (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011). Foster carers are busy supporting the emotional and social needs of children. More often than not further support is required to meet the literacy and educational needs of children in care. As a result, The Pyjama Foundation aims to close this gap of disadvantage by connecting children in care with supportive adult mentors to empower them and to increase their learning outcomes. The video below provides a realistic and honest depiction of children being removed from their home due to domestic violence.



  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Children in care. Retrieved from
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2015). Child protection Australia 2013-2014 (Child Welfare Series No. 61). Canberra: AIHW.
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2011). Child protection Australia 2009-2010 (Child Welfare Series No. 51). Canberra: AIHW.