Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice

It takes an average of 17 years for new research findings to be implemented as changes in practice within the health sector. Vulnerable children cannot wait this long for best practice interventions to reach child protection services.

Since its inception the Australian Centre for Child Protection has been proactive in increasing the use of evidence in policy and practice. This has included a major program of research into both the barriers and facilitators of research application and the factors that lead to the diffusion of innovation in policy and practice. From this research, the Centre developed a suite of strategies aimed at reducing the barriers to research uptake and increasing the user-friendliness of research products.

These strategies were implemented through the Centre’s research partnership with the former National Child Protection Clearinghouse (now the Child Family Community Australia information Exchange) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The Clearinghouse was a Government funded web-based resource that shares quality, evidence-based information. As a result, web usage increased significantly (see right for details). This is a powerful demonstration of how the Centre’s work has facilitated the delivery of research findings directly into practitioners’ hands.

This program of research continues to expand to include the emerging field of implementation science, focusing on methods for integrating evidence-based practices into the child protection, health and education sectors.

“The Australian Centre for Child Protection is responsive to emerging research needs and has proven their capacity to engage and communicate with local and international, government and non-government partners and through their work support organisations such as the
Office of the Guardian.”
Pam Simmons, former Guardian

With the support of the Australian Research Council, Australian Institute of Family Studies