Report finds NT children failed by govts

Greg Roberts

KEY FINDINGS OF THE PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION'S REPORT INTO EXPENDITURE ON CHILDREN IN THE NT:

* Children in the Northern Territory four times more likely than Australian children overall to come into contact with the child protection system

* About 27 per cent of children lived in areas of socio-economic disadvantage, far higher than nationally, and 42 per cent of the 63,000 children in NT are Aboriginal.

* Commonwealth and NT Governments in 2018-19 spent about $538 million, through nine funding agencies, more than 700 grants, to over 500 service providers.

* Taxpayer funds wasted due to poor coordination - one legal service provider had 11 different grants from the same funding agency to deliver the same type of service.

* Current approach to funding service providers is short term and inhibits ability of building capacity and keeping children and young people safe and well.

* Funding must be needs driven: local government staff and providers must better consult communities; better use of data, records and public reporting of progress against outcomes for children and families.