'Safeguarding Children: Leading Change’ provided an opportunity for those involved in child protection in Catholic organisations to share research, learnings and practice.
Latest evidence and research was presented by ACU’s Institute of Child Protection Studies. The Institute was established in 2005 and aims to enhance outcomes for children, young people and families through quality research, evaluation, training and community education. Research strengths include promoting children's participation, strengthening service systems and informing practice, and supporting child-safe communities.
Director, Professor Daryl Higgins said over the last four years, ICPS has worked closely with the research program of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; which has forged partnerships with the Royal Commission and other academic institutions to deliver new and valuable insights about children’s safety in institutions.
“This work demonstrates ACU’s continuing commitment to taking a leadership role in the community to take action to keep children safe and protected from harm,” he said.
Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) Chief Executive Officer, Ms Sheree Limbrick said that bringing professionals together to share insights and research is valuable in taking the next steps. “CPSL is committed to creating an environment that ensures the safety and protection of children and vulnerable people. This workshop provides a unique opportunity for delegates from dioceses, congregations, agencies and schools from across Australia to meet and share insights; and identify areas of strength and capacity to support safe cultures.”
During the day, presenters shared their experience through case studies, including National Committee for Professional Standards Executive Officer, Sr Annette Cunliffe, and Protection and Prevention Officer, Mr Tom Bagot; Catholic Education Melbourne Team Leader: Student Wellbeing Unit, Dr Lina De Paolo and Senior Project Lead – Child Safety: Student Wellbeing Unit, Ms Elina Raso; and YMCA Australia Executive Manager, Governance and Child Safety, Ms Olivia Brown.
Director, Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU Professor Daryl Higgins and Senior Research Fellow, Dr Tim Moore presented the latest evidence and research. “We will encourage new collaborative approaches to improving child safety within the Catholic community, and support services to take forward the valuable work of ICPS and ACU into the future,” Professor Higgins said.