Child abuse and neglect is one of the most confronting issues facing our society and a significant health epidemic. More children become involved with child protection services than are diagnosed with asthma, the most common childhood illness in Australia. This abuse and neglect often leads to devastating impacts on lifelong health, wellbeing and development. The effects of abuse can include physical health problems, higher rates of criminal offending, educational and employment impacts contributing to homelessness and poverty, and mental health issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, depression and suicide. Despite the prevalence of child abuse and the significance of its impacts, research in this area has significantly lagged behind other fields, only recently being recognised as a major public health issue.

The Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) is changing this. We have been at the forefront of pioneering a new public health approach to respond to this epidemic. As Australia's premier research centre for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, the Centre is leading important research and evidence informing new approaches across policy and practice in this critical field.

The award-winning and highly talented research and clinical team, led by Director Professor Leah Bromfield, Associate Professor Tim Moore, Associate Professor Melissa O'Donnell and Ms Amanda Paton, have pioneered new approaches with some of the most vulnerable children, families and communities in Australia. This includes world first research and approaches across areas such as:

  • identifying and supporting children and families who are most at risk, including those with multiple and complex needs
  • reforming child protection systems and services
  • supporting child, family and adult focused services working with vulnerable families
  • engaging children and young people in designing policies, practices and programs
  • supporting the implementation of child protection programs and services
  • understanding how to both prevent and respond to child sexual abuse
  • understanding the impacts that issues such as child removal, homelessness, parenting in a new culture, fathering and family violence may have on children and families
  • supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and their communities.

Through partnerships with government and non-government organisations, the ACCP is at the forefront of new knowledge development which can be rapidly translated into innovative policies and practices. Through our work, we are making a difference in the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable children.

ACCP Strategic Framework

The Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) is dedicated to developing practical outcomes that benefit front-line staff, families and communities and which truly help children and young people.

Picture of childrenThe ACCP’s strategic framework 2022-2027 confirms the ACCP’s priorities, ambitions and commitments in taking on the critical challenges impacting the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families. We have aligned our priorities to the challenges and needs of the sector with reference to the following key national strategies – National Framework for Protection Australia’s Children, National Strategy for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Closing the Gap, & National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children.

As part of the process for developing our strategic framework, we have engaged a range of important stakeholders to seek diverse voice and input into the planning process. The ACCP staff, ACCP Board members, University leaders, and our sector have all provided valuable insights, which have helped to shape and refine our future focus. We appreciate everyone’s generosity in this process.

> Download the ACCP Strategic Framework 2022 - 2027 (PDF 3.7MB)