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Research and Evaluation

Children | Families | Practitioners | Systems | Aboriginal Service Providers


Girl with Down Syndrome and mother Despite billions of dollars being spent annually on child protection and out-of-home care service provision in Australia, there has been relatively little research to inform policy makers and service providers on the most effective strategies to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect.

The Australian Centre for Child Protection is unique in addressing this issue at a national level by creating a knowledge base that is relevant and has practical application.

Australian Centre for Child Protection researchers have pioneered methodologies for engaging vulnerable and marginalised children and families in child protection research. They collect, analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data to provide contextually-driven solutions to complex problems.

The Centre's team has experience in randomised controlled trials,  nationally representative surveys, observational studies, experimental and longitudinal research, multi-level modelling using administrative and survey data, and the use of grounded theory and thematic approaches to analysing qualitative data.

Having achieved national and international recognition, our award-winning program of research is strategic and well-planned, helping to shape the social policy landscape at a governmental level, while also addessing the requirements of on-the-ground practitioners. Our priority is to ensure that our research makes a difference to the lives of vulnerable children, enabling early intervention to help families to better support themselves.

To this end, our research concerns five key areas.


Children

 Systematic review of chronic maltreatment and cumulative harm research

 This systematic literature review explores what literature exists about chronic maltreatment and assesses how maltreatment chronicity is conceptualised in current literature. This project involved systematically searching databases to detect literature that had the potential to identify examples of repeat involvement with child protection.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 Chronic maltreatment and cumulative harm in South Australian Child Protection Services

This study is intended to be the first in a program of research investigating chronic maltreatment and cumulative harm in families repeatedly involved with Families SA. It is expected to increase understanding and awareness of chronic maltreatment and the risk of cumulative harm in South Australia.

Utilising child protection adminsitrative data this study will estimate the size and scope of children who experience chronic maltreatment in South Australia and to identify characteristics that differentiate families with chronic and isolated involvement with child protection services.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 Trends in reports of child maltreatment in the Northern Territory: 1999 to 2010

Partners: Steven Guthridge, John Lynch

This project used child protection data to examine the trends for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory over a 10-year period. A/Prof Bromfield's role as child protection expert on the team was to assist in interpreting the results in light of the NT policy and practice context.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 Engaging children and young people in child protection research

 Funder: Western Australian Department for Child Protection and Family Support

As part of the Signs of Safety Program of Research, this study examined strategies and approaches in obtaining the views of children and young people involved in the child protection process (using specifically developed tools and strategies).

This research explored the views and perspectives of children about their experience of child protection practice in Western Australia, which is five years into the adoption and implementation of the Signs of Safety practice approach.

This project was a 2013 psychology honours project undertaken by Samantha Finan under the supervision of Dr Mary Salveron and Prof Leah Bromfield.

Contact: Dr Mary Salveron, Research Fellow; Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 Recruiting young adults to child maltreatment research through Facebook: A feasibility study

Honours project: Funding through the Australian Centre for Child Protection

This study investigated the feasibility of using online social media to recruit young adults as participants in child maltreatment research.

Over three weeks in 2011, an advertisement was distributed to Facebook users 18-25 years old living in South Australia. It linked to an external website with participant information and an online survey. Helpline and support service details were provided prior to participation and throughout the questionnaire.

A final self-selected sample of 101 young adults (19 male; 81 female; 1 unknown) between 18 and 25 years living in South Australia with Facebook accounts, participated in the online retrospective self-report survey about positive and negative childhood experiences. A total of 64 responded to an advertisement and 33 to a 'wall' post (four indicated 'other'). Seventy-four per cent had experienced some form of maltreatment (as defined by measure), the most prevalent being physical abuse. Only 15% perceived that they had been maltreated. Forty-six per cent experienced more than one type.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 A report on the needs of children in residential care

 Funder: The Department for Education and Child Development

The Australian Centre for Child Protection was commissioned in 2012 to undertake a study and report describing the therapeutic needs of children in statutory residential care as reported by their care workers.

This project involved semi-structured interviews of residential care workers on the educational, psycho-social and health needs of the children in their care. The project also involved a literature review to identify the potential assessment tools which may be appropriate for monitoring client and serivce outcomes in the statutory residential care sector.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 The contribution of child maltreatment to social anxiety disorder: A review of the published literature from 2002-2013

 This project was a systematic review of peer-reviewed papers published between 2002-2013, to explore how childhood maltreatment contributes to the onset of social anxiety disorder.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 Interventions for young children displaying problematic sexual behaviour

This project involved a systematic review of the literature on non-custodial, therapeutic interventions for young children displaying problematic sexual behaviour.

The findings of this study provide policy and practice implications for better supporting young children in a range of out-of-home care placements.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 Interventions for young children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and exposure to other substances

Partner: Karen Hislop

This project involved a systematic review of the literature on therapeutic interventions for young children affected by maternal prenatal substance exposure, with a focus on early intervention.

The findings of this study provide policy and practice implications for better supporting very young children with challenging behaviour caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol and other substances, living in substitute care settings.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 Neuropsychological deficits of children exposed to childhood abuse and neglect

 Funder: UniSA Divisional Research Performance Fund

In this project, a systematic review of the literature on the impact child abuse and neglect has on neuropsychological functions was conducted, with a focus on the neuropsychological foundation of a range of behavioural issues, including memory and executive functioning.

The review highlighted the possible 'brain-based' nature of many of the challenging and disruptive behaviours exhibited by children who have experienced abuse and neglect and who are subsequently removed into alternative care settings.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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The influence of alternative education for marginalised students in the middle years of school

Funder: The Australian Centre for Child Protection

PhD project (School of Education): Student experiences and perceptions of school inclusion and the impact of alternative educational settings on the development of positive outcomes for at-risk young people. Marnie was awarded her PhD in 2013.

Contact: Dr Marnie Best

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Is playfulness a key to resilience in vulnerable children?

Funder: The Australian Centre for Child Protection

PhD project (School of Health Sciences): This research project investigated the association between children's playfulness at age 4, parental mind mindedness, parental playfulness, parenting style and attachment behaviours. Her work was nominated as one of three finalists for the Best Clinical Paper Award for Paediatrics at the Occupational Therapy Australia National Conference on the Gold Coast in June 2011.  Shelley was awarded her PhD in March 2016.

Contact: Dr Shelley Wright

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 Families

Refugee Communities- Intercultural dialoge: Building relationships, building communities

Funder: The Department of Social Services

Partner: The Institute of Child Protection Studies

This study, in partnership with the Institute of Child Protection Studies, aims to fill an important gap concerning how refugee parents and children develop social connections and use these connections to assist them in developing positive healthy family relationships. It is the first national research project of its kind to provide evidence of how refugee children view the importance of social connections and how these contribute to keeping them safe.

This research aims to provide indepth and contexualised data about how services may better support refugee parents to care for their children, in an attempt to reduce the numbers of children of refugee parents entering the statutory care and protection system.

In collaboration with the refugee community, the research will also identify new ways of working to achieve better outcomes for parents and their children and communities.

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Fathering, family and domestic violence and intervention challenges

 Funder: $1.2 million ARC Linkage project

Partners: University of Melbourne & the University of Western Australia

Working in partnership with two other universities and nearly 20 partner organisations including three state governments, this project will research how men who have used violence in their families are parenting.

It is expected that research outcomes will help in the development of standards for interventions by practitioners who work with men in situations of family violence.

For more information, please visit the project's website.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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The effectiveness of high risk birth alerts in NSW in improving outcomes for highly vulnerable infants and their mothers

 Pregnant women and their unborn children living in circumstances where there are significant health risk factors such as domestic violence, substance abuse, unmanaged mental health issues and lack of participation in antenatal care are a population of significant public health concern.

Each state and territory in Australia allows for prenatal harm information to be shared between Health services and the relevant statutory child protection agency. In New South Wales (NSW) these prenatal alerts are called High Risk Birth Alerts and the agency providing the foremost care to the pregnant mother and unborn child is NSW Health. This study will use a mixed-methodology to explore the experiences of this high risk cohort and the degree to which High Risk Birth Alerts contribute to positive birth outcomes and family preservation.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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South Australian foster carer experiences of children's initial transition into their care: Recommendations for policy and practice

 The aim of this research is to explore how home based, foster and relative kin carers experienced the arrival, and early stages of caring for a child who has been removed from their biological family home for child protection reasons. In order to prioritise the voice and experience of the carer this research uses the qualitative, interpretive and critical research design of hermeneutic phenomenology.

Contact: Laura Varley, PhD student; Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 The recovery of mothers and their children following trauma

 Partners: Peter Mertin & Danielle Zerk, Eastern Domestic Violence Service and Northern Domestic Violence Service

This study examines the important factors in the recovery of mothers and their children over time after leaving situations of domestic violence. Mothers and their children will be interviewed at two points, approximately 12-months apart, to investigate whether a child's recovery following trauma is dependent upon the mother's recovery. Further factors influencing recovery such as the mother's perceptions of safety and history of childhood maltreatment shall also be explored.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 Challenging behaviour and support for foster carers

Honours project: funding though the Australian Centre for Child Protection

A systematic literature review on foster carer support and an online survey, to investigate what behaviours foster carers think are a problem and what supports foster carers want, to assist them to manage behaviour of children in their care. These findings are expected to lead to more nuanced training and support for foster carers. This project has resulted in two publications thus far.

This project was conducted as a psychology honours project in 2012 by Olivia Octoman under the supervision of Dr Sara McLean

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 Foster carer support: What supports do foster carers want?

 This study aims to investigate what supports foster carers think would be helpful in assisting them to manage the behaviour of children in their care.

Foster carers will be asked to respond to an online survey designed to measure how supported they feel regarding the management of challenging child behaviour. They will be asked what supports would be the most helpful to assist them in managing child behaviour, including how these supports should be delivered and the best type of person to deliver support. It is expected that the findings will be used to enhance current foster carer supports and introduce new support that is responsive to foster carer needs.

The support survey items were informed by literature and the results of a previous study by Octoman & McLean

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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 Evaluation of 'My Kids and Me'

 Funder: CatholicCare Sydney

Delivered by CatholicCare in Sydney and Wollongong, 'My Kids and Me' is a seven-week course specifically tailored for parents whose children have been removed from their care. The aim of the course is to improve parents' relationships with their children, their children's carers and relevant workers including those from NSW Community Services.

The evaluation utilised mixed methods including: administrative and clinical data, focus groups with facilitators, repeated-measures surveys and telephone interviews with course participants.

Contact: Christine Gibson, Community Research Liason Coordinator

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Establishing boundaries & building bridges: South Australian research into the ecology of the refugee parenting experience in pre-resettlement contexts 

Funder: The Australian Centre for Child Protection

PhD project (School of Psychology): Nombasa’s research drew upon insights from African, Sudanese, and Afghani and Iraqi parenting groups and expands upon Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory to conceptualise the ecology of the pre-resettlement refugee parenting experience. Her findings identified the need for a more coordinated approach to child protection in refugee camps and pre-resettlement contexts. Sections of her dissertation manuscript have been published in refereed journals. Nombasa was awarded her PhD in 2010

Contact: Dr Nombasa Williams, past PhD student

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A journey to a new parent identity: Recovering from identity trauma and negotiating practice in child protection settings

Funder: The Australian Centre for Child Protection

PhD project (School of Psychology): This project explored the psychological impacts of child removal, and subsequent case work, with parents on the ability or desire of parents to maintain relationships and make lifestyle and parenting changes necessary for them to maintain a role in the lives of their children. The project included a grounded theory analysis of 58 interviews with parents, carers and workers about the psychological factors which inhibit or promote the maintenance of relationships between birth parents and children after their removal and placement in out-of-home care. Mary was awarded her PhD in 2012 

Contact: Dr Mary Salveron, Research Fellow

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Practitioners

Developing a national interdisciplinary educational framework for professionals working with children in the early years

ACCP collaborated in a national research project to develop a national Interdisciplinary educational framework for professionals working with children in the early years.  The project, led by Flinders University, was funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

The framework was developed to inform curriculum for the education of professionals across diverse disciplines who work with children from birth to five years of age (the early years) and their families through:

  • A statement of shared outcomes that recognises various disciplinary foci.
  • An interdisciplinary map of evidence informed theories and national regulatory requirements.
  • A statement of universal essential elements (knowledge, skills and attributes).

Learn more at http://www.flinders.edu.au/mnhs/early-years/early-years_home.cfm

Development and psychometric testing on a measure of child protection workers' attitudes about the placement of children in out-of-home care

Honours project: Funding through the Australian Centre for Child Protection

This study aimed to develop a psychometrically sound measure of the attidues of child protection workers about their placement decisions for children in out-of-home care.

This research included an extensive piloting process, with the administration of a research tool to practitioners in the out-of-home care sector across Australia.

This project is a 2013 psychology honours project undertaken by Jenna Meiksans under the supervision of Professor Fiona Arney and Marie Iannos

Contact: Professor Fiona Arney, Director

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 Signs of Safety Program of Research

 Funder: The Western Australian Department for Child Protection and Family Support

As part of the 3 year program of research between 2013 and 2016, six research projects were undertaken to examine the implementation and impact of the Signs of Safety child protection practice framework on outcomes for children, parents and the child protection workforce.

 Utilising a mixed method research design, the program of research included the following projects:

-Results Logic/Theory of Change Study – This project aimed to document the theory of change for Signs of Safety and describe in concrete and measureable terms what it was hoped the approach looked like in practice; and the desired outcomes of the approach for different stakeholder groups (children, parents, practitioners and other important people).

-Implementation Case Study – Published in Children and Youth Services Review, this project documented the Department’s implementation journey as part of the State’s child protection system reform drawing on Roger’s diffusion of innovation theory and Fixsen’s implementation stages and drivers model.

-Children's Study – This qualitative exploratory study aimed to pilot a methodology and determine the feasibility of undertaking research examining experiences of children about their child protection worker during the assessment or investigation phase of the child protection process.

-Administrative Data Study – Utilising a longitudinal historical control design, this study examined Departmental administrative data to compare outcomes for children pre and post Signs of Safety implementation. Some of the outcome indicators included number of children in care, re-substantiations and assessments proceeding to family support.

- Practitioner Study – This study investigated the relationships between skill and confidence in Signs of Safety child protection practice and practitioner wellbeing as measured by role clarity, autonomy, hope, perceptions of departmental support, work engagement, emotional well-being, professional practice and job satisfaction.

-Parent Study – This project is a multi- wave study investigating parents’ ratings of their worker’s Signs of Safety practice with measures of client-worker engagement, social support, parental identity, satisfaction with service and perception of children's safety and followed parents up over two time points.

 A Triangulation Manuscript which combines findings from the six research projects is also currently in progress to provide an overall finding of the program of research and the implementation and impact of the Signs of Safety child protection practice framework. Explanatory mechanisms, limitations and recommendations are included.

Contact: Dr Mary Salveron, Research Fellow; Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director, Prof Fiona Arney, Director

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 Modelling the retention of early career child protection workers

 PhD project: funding through the Australian Centre for Child Protection

This project is a PhD project undertaken by Kerry Lewig under the supervision of A/Prof Leah Bromfield. The purpose of the proposed research is to explore through quantitative and qualitative research methods the role that personal resilience plays in the retention of early career child protection case workers during the first 12 months of their employment.

The study draws on both resilience theory and the job demands and resources model and will validate a suite of psychometric measures to investigate practitioner resilience and wellbeing and model their impact on worker retention.

Contact: Kerry Lewig, Research Coordinator; Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 The role of personal resources in psychology and social work students' wellbeing and study engagement

Honours project: funding through the Australian Centre for Child Protection

This project comprised two stages: A systematic literature review of hope, optimism, resilience and self-efficacy as protective factors in students generally; and research undertaken through an internet survey to examine how personal resources can act as buffers between the demands of tertiary education and negative outcomes such as psychological distress and lower study engagement amongst psychology and social work students.

Key findings indicate personal resources enable students to maintain a higher engagement and better psychological wellbeing when faced with high study demands.

This project was a 2012 psychology honours project undertaken by Stewart McDougall under the supervision of Kerry Lewig.

Contact: Kerry Lewig, Research Coordinator

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 Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity, Building Bridges Project Evaluation

 Funder: The Deparment of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

This was the evaluation stage of a three-year initiative, that was conducted in 12 different areas across Australia, that aimed to enhance the ways of working with children and families in adult-focused services; strengthen inter-agency collaboration to provide more holistic responses to families with multiple and complex needs; and develop best-practice methods for supporting organisations and practitioners to implement change.

Contact: Christine Gibson, Community Research Liason Coordinator; Helen Francis, Project Manager

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 Mental health knowledge and behaviours amongst statutory residential care workers

 Honours project, funding through Australian Centre for Child Protection

This study is the first in a program of research designed to document the knowledge and attitudes of statutory residential care workers towards the mental health and behaviour of children and young people in residential care facilities.

The study used an online survey to capture a national sample of residential care workers in government and non-government facilities.

This project is a 2013 psychology honours project undertaken by Tahlia Winsor under the supervision of Dr Sara McLean.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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Exploring the parent-family worker relationship in rural family support services

Funder: The Australian Centre for Child Protection

PhD project (School of Social Work and Social Policy): Dr Reimer’s thesis provided an in-depth look at relationships between parents, families and workers in rural practice with families referred for neglect. Her research highlighted effective routes to establishing productive change in relationships with high-risk parents in difficult circumstances. Her research also provided new insights into how workers balance the tension of personal and professional styles of relating, and how this is mediated and monitored through supervision. Sections of her dissertation manuscript were published in refereed journals. Liz was awarded her PhD in 2010

Contact: Dr Elizabeth Reimer, past PhD student

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Systems

Prevalence and incidence of sexual abuse in institutions

 Funder: The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Partners: Social Policy Research Centre, Australian Institute of Criminology

This is an investigation into the prevalence and incidence of sexual abuse in Australian institutions.

The study aims to establish the data holdings that currently exist on the sexual abuse of children in institutional contexts in Australia and the accessibility of any such data. It will use available data to estimate the prevalence and incidence of child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts.

Data from administrative and client records systems from a range of sources are likely to include the police, health and education departments, child protection, and working with children check administering bodies in each state and territory.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 Good Practice in Child Protection: A 5-country international study and recommendations for reforming the Swiss child protection system

 Funder: Association PPP-Programme Naitonal pur la Protection de l'Enfant

Partners: researchers representing Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Switzerland

Associate Professor Leah Bromfield was one of a six-member consortia of researchers representing Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Switzerland, who won an internaitonal tender to investigate 'Child Protection Systems: An internaitonal comparison of good practice'. The project is funded by the Association PPP-Programme National pour la Protection de l'Enfant on behalf of the Swiss government, and is expected to result in a report and recommendations to the Swiss government in addition to academic papers and book chapters.

Contact: Prof Leah Bromfield, Deputy Director

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 Evaluation of the South Australia homelessness reforms as they pertain to services for children

 Funder: The South Australian Department of Communities and Social Inclusion

This is a three-year evaluation of a statewide reform agenda to determine the extent to which the South Australian statewide homelessness reforms increased the effectiveness in which homelessness services responded to the needs of children.

The evaluation of reforms utilised mixed-methods including: adminsitrative data, practitioner and manager surveys, client surveys, documentary analysis, case studies and focus groups with key stakeholder groups.

Contact: Christine Gibson, Community Research Liason Coordinator

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Evaluation of the SA Information Sharing Guidelines (ISG)

 An evaluation of the Information Sharing Guidelines (ISG) was carried out for the South Australian Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People. Participants from two government departments and two non-government agencies responded to a survey questionnaire before and after receiving in-house training about the ISG.

Significant gaps in knowledge and application, training and induction, and behaviour and attitude change were noted.

Contact: Christine Gibson, Community Research Liason Coordinator

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Aboriginal Service Providers

Growing Our Spirit: Improving the evidence base for community developed assessments of kinship carers of Aboriginal children

 Funder: The Sidney-Myer Fund

Partners: Winangay Resources Inc, and the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

This is a national three-year project, coordinated by the Australian Centre for Child Protection, to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the culturally derived Winangay Kinship Carers Assessment Tool.

The Tool adopts a strengths-based approach designed to engage with carers and potential carers in ways that encourage collaboration and that build solid foundations from which to develop a positive intervention plan. Designed to meet the needs of both statutory and non-statutory carers, the Tool includes an Action Plan for workers to jointly address the family's unmet needs and any concerns as well as identifying required services and support.

The research, across multiple sites in Australia, utilises a mixed-methods longitudinal design. As part of the evaluation 70 practitioners will be trained in the use of the Winangay Tool.

Contact: Professor Fiona Arney, Director

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Evaluation of three-intergenerational trauma healing initiatives

 Funder: The Healing Foundation

Partners: Institute for Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

This is a national evaluation of three healing initiatives in Acacia Ridge, Queensland; Darwin, Northern Territory and Kununurra, Western Australia that address intergenerational trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

The aim of the initiatives is to facilitate healing and reconnect children to culture in order to alleviate trauma in current and future generations. Evaluations of the effectiveness and acceptability of the initiatives is being undertaken within each community and will utilise an action research methodology. The evaluation utilises a participatory action research methodology with these new initiatives.

Contact: Professor Fiona Arney, Director

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Aboriginal workers' views about the needs of Aboriginal children and families who are in contact with statutory child welfare services

Honours project, funding through the Australian Centre for Child Protection

This project has been developed in consultation with the Senior Aboriginal Leadership Committee within South Asutralian child protection services.

The project will involve individual interviews and focus group discussions from Aboriginal statutory care workers, enabling them to give their views about the rising number of Aboriginal children entering care and about how the statutory system should respond to the needs of Aboriginal children and their families.

This project is a 2013 social work honours project undertaken by Jean Bacon under the supervision of Dr Sara McLean.

Jean Bacon was awarded the 2013 Ian Cox Scholarship for Social Work Student Research for this project.

Contact: Dr Sara McLean, Research Fellow

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Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara (APY) Lands Interagency Collaboration Evaluation Framework

Funder: SA Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Centre was funded to scope a process and outcomes evaluation framework for the Government's response to the Mullighan Inquiry into child sexual abuse on the APY Lands.

The Evaluation Framework together with a review of intersectoral/multidisciplinary collaboration in general, with respect to responses to child sexual abuse notifications more specifically, and on collaborative ways of working in remote Aboriginal communities was completed in September 2010.

Contact: Prof Fiona Arney, Director

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Evaluation of the Family Home Visiting Program with Families of Aboriginal children

Partners: Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia; South Australian Children, Youth and Women's Health Service; Commonwealth Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Family Home Visiting project was a collaborative research project that was created to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of families of Aboriginal children participating in the Family Home Visiting Program delivered by the South Australian Children, Youth and Women's Health Service.

The report titled "A Pilot Exploration of a Family Home Visiting Program for families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children" was released in 2010. Read the report.

Contact: Prof Fiona Arney, Director

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Aboriginal Families Study

Funder: Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, University of Adelaide, National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant; Rio Tinto

The Aboriginal Families Study is a research study led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Inc. based on state-wide consultations with Aboriginal communities and policy makers in South Australia.

The study aims to collect population level data  documenting:

  • women's experiences of services during pregnancy, childbirth and the first few months after birth; and
  • the social health of Aboriginal women and families during and after pregnancy.

Professor Fiona Arney is an investigator on this project. The study findings will be used to inform the development of pregnancy and postnatal services for Aboriginal women and families in South Australia.

Contact: Prof Fiona Arney, Director

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Areas of study and research

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