A national comparison of child protection programs has criticised state and federal governments for their slow response to an increase in child abuse cases. The National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse at Monash University has found serious problems with child protection in all states and territories. Centre director Chris Goddard says the Federal Government needs to provide leadership on the issue with national early intervention campaigns. "It is a catastrophic problem to have so many referrals, every year, so many re-referrals, so many children," he said. "The number of children living out of home care for example is increasing year by year." The report has also found while the number of reported child abuse cases has doubled nationally in the past five years, the number of foster carers is dropping.