UNIFEM Informs seminar

Is Child Protection a public health issue? - views from Australia and the UK

Thursday 6 April 2006

Jointly presented by
UNIFEM Australia and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA

Marking UN World Health Day (7 April 2006)

UNIFEM Informs Seminar on Child Protection: unedited audio transcript available here (19.6Mb mp3 file)

Guest speakers

In the face of escalating notifications of alleged child abuse and a marked increase in the number of children coming into State care in Australia, there is growing interest in alternative policy approaches to child protection. In both the UK and in parts of Australia, including South Australia, whole-of-government public health approaches, at both policy and service delivery levels, are beginning to emerge. This raises a number of interesting philosophical and practical issues about the protection of vulnerable children in today’s society.

Professor Dorothy Scott, Foundation Chair of the Centre for Child Protection at UniSA and Professor Brigid Daniel, Professor of Child Care and Protection, from the University of Dundee will compare experiences from a UK and Australian perspective and examine the issues involved in the whole-of-government public health model of child protection.


Professor Dorothy Scott, Foundation Chair of the Centre for Child Protection, UniSA

Professor Dorothy Scott is the Foundation Chair of Child Protection and the Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia. This newly created, federally funded Centre undertakes cross-disciplinary research and facilitates its translation into professional education, policy and practice. Professor Scott was previously the Head of the School of Social Work at the University of Melbourne and the Executive Director of The Ian Potter Foundation, Australia’s largest philanthropic trust. She has conducted major Ministerial inquiries, performance audits and reviews of child protection and is an advisor to State and Commonwealth governments. With extensive publications and experience in the diffusion of innovation and research utilisation in child protection, she is strongly committed to advancing a public health model of child protection reform, facilitating inter-sectoral collaboration, and nurturing “institutions of hope”.

Professor Brigid Daniel, Professor of Child Care and Protection, University of Dundee

Brigid studied Psychology at St Andrews University and went on to carry out a PhD in Psychology at Edinburgh University. She spent a year as a post-doctoral research fellow before training as a social worker, also at Edinburgh University. She worked for some years in local authority social work in Edinburgh. She then moved to the University of Dundee to teach on the post-qualifying Child Protection Courses run by the Social Work Department.


In 2001 she took up the post of Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Stirling University and spent a year on secondment to the Scottish Executive to work on the Ministerial Audit and Review of Child Care and Protection which reported in 2002 in 'It's Everyone's Job to Make Sure I'm Alright.' In 2004 she returned to Dundee to take up her current post as Professor of Child Care and Protection and Director of Studies of a range of post-qualifying child care and protection courses.


Her research interests and published books and journal articles are on child development, child neglect, work with fathers, assessment and resilience.

Forthcoming Hawke Centre event: Women in Afghanistan today: hopes, achievements and challenges

UNIFEM Australia

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is a non-profit organisation working to help improve the living standards of women and children in developing countries and to address their concerns. It is a global organisation with programs which promote women's leadership, with the goal to give women an equal voice in the decisions that shape their future and that of their children. The aim of the UNIFEM Informs seminars is to promote the role and work undertaken by UNIFEM to the general public.

UNIFEM Informs is a UNIFEM Australia initiative. Additional information on UNIFEM Adelaide may be found at http://www.unifem.org.au.

Additional web site which may be of interest: Respect for Women seminar

While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy – valuing our cultural diversity – and building our future