Professor Daryl Higgins commenced as the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies in February 2017.
His research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, Prof Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for over 20 years.
Associate Prof Stephanie Taplin, Associate Director
Associate Professor Stephanie Taplin is the Associate Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies. Stephanie has qualifications in psychology, criminology and public health.
Stephanie has spent much of her research career in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field and has in recent years focused on the intersection between AOD and child protection. Stephanie undertook a large study with mothers in opioid pharmacological treatment about their children and involvement with the child protection system, and has recently been looking at the issue of prenatal reporting and child protection interventions.
Tim Moore has been part of the ICPS team since 2005. During this time, Tim has worked with peers to explore the ways that children and young people understand and experience their worlds, their relationships and the challenges that they and families encounter
Drawing from experience as a youth worker, Tim has conducted studies on young caring, homelessness, parental drug and alcohol issues, youth justice and child protection – particularly focusing on how to best respond to children and young people facing adversity.
Since completing a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1997, Debbie has worked in a wide range of direct service positions such as financial counselling and housing support work.
Over the last 15 years Debbie has worked as a researcher and managed research projects at various government and non-government organisations including: Carers Australia, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Catholic University.
Aino is a clinically trained psychologist and has been working in research on vulnerable populations with a specific family focus since 2006.
She graduated from the University of Melbourne 2012 having completed her PhD (psychology) at the Children’s Court of Victoria. Her thesis examined clinical family assessments at the Children’s Court Clinic of Victoria with a focus on parents’ mental health problems, violence and addictions.
Douglas started at ICPS in 2017, and is supporting research regarding the participation of children and young people in child safe organisations. He qualified as a primary school teacher 15 years ago and has worked across Australia, the UK and in Dubai, teaching students from a range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Steven has been a social worker since 2009, and commenced with ICPS in November 2013. His social work background extends across the mental health, alcohol and other drug, and homelessness sectors in both outreach and residential settings, as well as at a community organisation in the Philippines.
Paola supports the effective delivery of both financial management and communications services within the ICPS.
Prior to commencing at ICPS in 2017, Paola worked in the Commonwealth public service as a Senior Accountant and Team Leader. Previously, she worked within a range of departments in the Victorian Public Service as a budget analyst and finance officer. Paola has experience in budget management, performance reporting, asset management and financial accounting.
Morag is the foundation director of ICPS. As a social work academic with over 25 years of teaching and research experience, Morag has worked with Commonwealth, State and Territory Government departments, non-government and community organisations on a wide range of research and evaluation projects.
She has taught both undergraduate and post-graduate students research methods, public policy and social theory. She had a key role in designing and implementing the first specialised postgraduate courses in child welfare in Australia.
Dr Gail Winkworth was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Protection Studies between 2005 and 2011, and was the founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal Communities, Children and Families Australia.
With her combination of practice, policy, administrative and academic experience, Gail is an adjunct professor of the ACU, with a continuing role in research, publishing and teaching.
Dr Giovanna Richmond has been a lecturer at the ACU School of Social Work since 2004. Prior to this she held senior management and senior professional positions in ACT Government in the fields of community health, child and family support services, child welfare and disability services.
From 1997-2003 she was Director of the Child, Youth & Women's Health Program in ACT Health.
Rhys is a social worker and counsellor who has been working with children, young people and families for more than ten years.
He has experience working in supervised View and foster care sectors. Most recently Rhys has provided counselling and therapeutic group programs to children and parents from separated families. In 2012 Rhys completed a research project in the UK, exploring the responses to participation initiatives from children in out of home care.
Patricia is currently undertaking her PhD researching the question, 'How would you ethically conduct research with children on domestic violence?' having received a scholarship under the ARC Grant related to Managing Ethical Studies on Sensitive Issues: Involving children in social research.
Patricia brings to her PhD research a career in juvenile justice, child protection, community services and in public advocacy.
Vicky Saunders is an experienced human services researcher and social worker, who worked at ICPS as a Research Fellow for eleven years, before concluding her employment in 2016. She remains as a PhD Candidate with the ACU.
Prior to commencing at ICPS, Vicky worked with foster carers and children and young people in out-of-home care services.