Indigenous children are 7.6 times more likely than non-indigenous children to be the subject of a protection investigation and 10 times more likely to be in foster or out-of-home care.

The report found the number of indigenous children being put on care and protection orders had risen steadily since 2007, from 34.8 to 51.4 per 1000 children. Out-of-home care rose over the same period from 36.3 to 51.7 per 1000.

This is despite the overall number of child abuse or neglect incidents reported to child welfare agencies falling in 2010, though the number of children involved in substantiated cases remained stable.

The report showed there had been a 13 per cent drop last year in the number of children notified to authorities as being possibly abused or neglected compared with the previous year.