Find out more

Contact the Centre for more information on how we can help you or your organisation deliver award-winning child and family sensitive practice.

 

Email: Christine Gibson, Community Research Liaison Coordinator

 

T: (08) 8302 2981

 

The Australian Centre for Child Protection offers policy and practice solutions tailored to the specific needs of our clients.

 

Protecting children is everyone's business.

   

Resources

Practitioner resources:

  

 > Arney, F. & Scott, D. (2013) Working with Vulnerable Families: A partnership approach, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press: Port Melbourne.          
   

 > Literature review on the issues for the safety and wellbeing of children in families in which parents are experiencing domestic violence, substance misuse, and mental illness.
   

 > Scott, D. (2009), ‘Think child, think family: How adult specialist services can support children at-risk of abuse and neglect’, Family Matters, 81, 37-42.
           

 > Literature review on improving outcomes for children living in families with parental substance misuse.
           

 > The Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia (CAFCA) publishes Practice Sheets, which are brief, evidence-informed resources that provide an overview of the literature on a specific practice and considerations for practice. 

    

Professionals Protecting Children - series

Titles in the series:

The Professionals Protecting Children series

The Professionals Protecting Children series is an award-winning research project conducted as part of the Centre's major Professional Education initiative in teacher education, social work, and nursing and midwifery to address the needs of all children who have experienced, or are at risk ok, abuse or neglect.. National surveys of the child protection content in the training of teachers, social workers, psychologists and nurses and midwives have been published and well-disseminated through four separate public reports. Much effort has been devoted to encouraging the relevant professional accreditation bodies to develop minimum standards for child protection content and to create appropriate curriculum resources. This was a long and complex process involving many professional accreditation bodies and tertiary educators.

The Australian Centre for Child Protection's Professionals Protecting Children series aimed to assist a broad range of professions to prepare graduates and practitioners who are equipped to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect effectively. These studies were based on surveys of child protection related content in qualifying and post qualifying courses in these professions.

In support of this mission to enhance the wellbeing of Australia's msot vulnerable children, the Centre worked with educational providers, accrediting agencies and key professional bodies to:

  • map how the prevention, identification and response to child abuse and neglect is addressed within undergraduate and graduate education proframs across a broad range of professions;
  • explore how professionals can be best prepared for working with vulnerable children and families; and
  • identify elements of good practice, exemplary teaching and learning practices, and resource development opportunities for the promotion of effective practice in relation to child abuse and neglect issue across a broad range of professional programs.

 The research project and series was completed in 2010 and was awarded the 'Best Collaborative/Interdisciplinary Research Project', in recognition of the Centre's achievments in Professional Education initiatives. The Research Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the contribution and efforts of researchers and research staff.

 


 

 Child Protection and Nursing and Midwifery Education in Australia

 Nursing and Midwifery Education Standards front coverAuthors: Yvonne Parry, Carmel Maio-Taddeo, Lynette Arnold, Robyn Nayda

The Centre contracted the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), which has a strong nursing and midwifery school, to lead a national project on child protection standards in nursing and midwifery training. This is now complete and is under consideration by the relevant bodies. With funding from The Ian Potter Foundation, the Centre also contracted UTS to develop DVD documentaries, curriculum resources and other specialist training resources for nursing and midwifery educators to use in fulfilling suchs tandards. These have been successfully piloted and are distributed free to all Australian schools of nursing and midwifery. The resource also includes a series of vignettes demonstrating how midwives, and child and family health nurses can intervene to prevent child abuse and neglect. The Centre also undertook an evaluation of their utilisation.

Given the increasing diversity of nursing and midwifery roles, this study also provides vital insights into existing challenges and potential opportunities in the area. It provides a strong evidence base from which to inform and launch future directions and actions, with the ultimate aim of strengthening the capacity of the profession to respond to the needs of vulnerable children.

"Nurses and midwives are in a unique position to reduce some of the key risk factors and increase some of the key protective factors associated with child abuse and neglect. These include identifying and reducing stressors during pregnancy, strengthening parent-infant attachment, enhancing parenting capacity and reducing social isolation. It also includes recognising and ameliorating the impact of parental chronic illness, substance dependence and mental health problems on parenting capacity... We need to educate and support our practitioners so that they have the necessary values, knowledge and skills to work effectively with vulnerable children and their families" - Professor John Daly, Chair, Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery, Australia and New Zealand.

  View Professionals Protecting Children - Child Protection and Nursing and Midwifery Education in Australia online.

back to top

 Child Protection and Nursing and Midwifery Education Curriculum Standards

Child Protection and Nursing and Midwifery Education Curriculum Standards front coverAuthors: Dr Carolyn Briggs, Dr Denise Ryan, Nicola Brown, Dr Joanna Gray, Dr Janet Green, Prof Catherine Fowler, Prof Caroline Homer

 "Standards for child wellbeing and child protection content in Australian nursing and midwifery courses are urgently required. There is deep concern within our society about child abuse and neglect...

With the release by the Council of Australian Governments of the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children (COAG 2009), there is now an obligation on all professions i Australia to examine how well they are preparing their graduates to protect children and how well they work together in delivering services to children and families... Nurses and midwives have a vital and distinctive role in combating child maltreatment. They are in a unique position to address some of the key risk factors and strengthen some of the key protective factors related to child abuse and neglect.

Reducing situational stressors during pregnancy, nurturing parent-infant attachment, increasing social support for vulnerable families, identifying and ameliorating the impact of parental chronic illness, substance dependence and mental health problems on parenting capacity, are all key elements in addressing child abuse and neglect. Irrespective of whether the child or the parent is the primary focus, or whether the setting is acute or primary care, nurses and midwives have the potential to make an enormous difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in our society." - Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM, Foundation Chair of the Australian Centre for Child Protection.

The development of recommended curriculum standards for Australian pre-registration and postgraduate programs in nursing and midwifery was undertaken by the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health at the University of Technology Sydney on behalf of the Australian Centre for Child Protection. The project aimed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to enhance child wellbeing and prevent, identify and respond to child abuse and neglect.

View Professionals Protecting Children - Child Protection and Nursing and Midwifery Education Curriculum Standards online.

back to top

 Nurturing and Protecting Children: A Public Health Approach

Nurturing and Protecting Children - A Public Health Approach front coverAuthors: Nicky Leap, Cathrine Fowler, Caroline Homer

 "Standards for child wellbeing and child protection content in Australian nursing and midwifery courses are urgently required. Through the Professionals Protecting Children initiative of the Australian Centre for Child Protection, we have worked in close partnership with professions to map the content of current curricula and to develop and implement curriculum standards on child protection suited to their profession. The Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery has been very supportive from the very beginning of this endeavour. Nurses and midwives have a vital and distinctive role in combating child maltreatment... Irrespective of whether the child or the parent is the primary focus, or whether the setting is acute or primary care, nurses and midwives have the potential to make an enormous difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in our society" - Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM, Foundation Chair of the Australian Centre for Child Protection.

View Professionals Protecting Children - Nurturing and Protecting Children: A Public Health Approach online.

 back to top

Child Protection and Psychology Education in Australia

 Child Protection and Psychology Education in Australia front coverAuthors: Angela Crettenden, Danielle Zerk, Edwina Farrall, Lynette Arnold

The Australian Psychological Society, which collaborated closely with Centre in the national survey of child protection content in psychology courses, has distributed that report to psychology departments across Australia. The report has also been sent to appropriate accreditation bodies for their consideration.

Child maltreatment is a significant problem in Australia. Psychologists in a wide range of occupations play an important role in the identification and prevention of child abuse and neglect, the provision of interventions to children and families, and the development and conduct of research in related areas. Psychology graduates must be adequately prepared to work in this field; however, little is known about the extent to which child abuse and neglect related contents are taught in current university curricula. A purpose-developed curriculum-mapping survey was used to examine Australian undergraduate, fourth year, and postgraduate Australian Psychology Accreditation Council-accredited programmes available in 2008. Results showed that students in the majority of programmes were exposed to child protection-related content; however, the extent of exposure was limited. Three postgraduate units specifically addressed the prevention, identification, and response to child abuse and neglect. Course coordinators reported that child maltreatment content was mostly integrated into general units throughout the programme, typically within developmental psychology units in the undergraduate curriculum and in ethics, research, or professional issues units in the fourth year and postgraduate programmes. Results suggest the need for child protection content to be included in minimum national standards and accreditation guidelines for universities.

View Professionals Protecting Children - Child Protection and Psychology Education in Australia online.

back to top

Child Protection and Social Work Education in Australia

Child Protection and Social Work Education front coverAuthors: Lynette Arnold, Carmel Maio-Taddeo, Dorothy Scott, Carole Zuffery

 The Australian Centre for Child Protection assisted the Australian Association of Social Workers to develop and introduce minimum requirements on child wellbeing and protection for accredited social work courses. 24 Australian universities offering social education courses fully approved by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) were invivted to help map child protection related content. This publication describes the analysis and results of the survey data, and outlines the issues raised in the subsequent Social Work Education and Child Protection Forum.

One key finding from the data from this study was that students enrolled in undergraduate programs have greater exposure to a range of risk factors and strategies than students in graduate and postgraduate programs. The data, however, does not support the notion that the students will appreciate the inherent connections between the factors and the need to respond to the issues. For this reason, opportunities need to be explored in social work education for more incidental course content to be linked explicitly to child protection.

 "Social workers in all fields of practice, however, have the potential to enhance the protection and nurturing of children. To fulfil this potential, social work graduates need to acquire the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills to see, hear and respond to the needs of children in the context of their families and communities... The results of this benchmark study are sobering in its analysis of what is and what is not in the social work curriculum. The AASW is committed to working with Schools of Social Work to address these gaps and to build the capacity of the social work profession to enhance the wellbeing of Australia's most vulnerable children" - Professor Bob Lonne, National President, Australian Association of Social Workers. 

 back to top

Child Protection and Teacher Education in Australia

Child Protection and Teacher Education in Australia front coverAuthors: Lynette Arnold & Carmel Maio-Taddeo

In overcrowded professional education programs, many stakeholders press for their concerns to be included; it is sometimes too easy to dismiss such claims because of the wide range of competing claims. The area of child protection, however, is not one of these. In teacher education, we urgently need to use issues of child protection both as a separate area for education and training and as a series of issues to be integrated across many areas of our work. This benchmark study of coverage of child protection issues in teacher education programs in Australia represents a serious challenge to 'business as usual'. .. Our role as educators, especially of pre-services teachers, is thus crucual. Our programs need a stronger focus and further research on appropriate teaching, support for staff and on children's lives in order to be more effective. I commend the study to teacher educators around the country for immediate consideration and action. - Professor Marie Brennan, Secretary/Treasurer, Australian Council of Deans of Education | Professor, School of Education, University of South Australia.

View Professionals Protecting Children-Child Protection and Teacher Education in Australia online.

 back to top

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise