kContact is a three-year study to develop and trial an enhanced model of managing and supporting contact between children in care and their birth parents. The aim is to reduce current and future distress related to contact, improve children's relationships with their birth parents and increase successful reunifications in the long term.
The project has been funded by the Australian Research Council, with significant partner contributions.
Conducted in the ACT and Victoria, the project is a joint initiative between the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) of the Australian Catholic University, the University of Melbourne, and a number of government and community partners.
The study will be conducted between 2014 and 2018, in two phases. Phase 1 reviewed the literature and consulted with key stakeholders and experts to develop evidence-based guidelines and an enhanced model of contact between children in out-of-home care and their birth parents. The project team worked with services in the ACT and Victoria to develop the detailed methodology for Phase 2, which commenced in 2015, to test the contact model.
ICPS has also been funded by NSW Family and Community Services to conduct a study using the same methodology in four NSW sites.This study is currently ongoing and will be finished in late 2018. For more information, contact Stephanie Taplin.