Community Services Directorate Director General Ms Natalie Howson, ACT Minister for Children and Young People Dr Chris Bourke, ICPS Director Prof Morag McArthur, and ACU Campus Dean Assoc Prof Patrick McArdle.
Institute of Child Protection Studies partnership with ACT Government bridges the divide between research and practice.
The Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) and the ACT Community Services Directorate have signed a new partnership agreement until 2021. Funding through this grant, worth $500,000 over five years, will support ICPS to carry out high quality research, evaluation and professional development in the ACT and nationally.
ACT Minister for Children and Young People Dr Chris Bourke made an announcement about the new partnership agreement at ACU's Canberra Campus on Wednesday 27 April. Director General of the Community Services Directorate Natalie Howson, ICPS founding director Professor Morag McArthur, and ACU Campus Dean Associate Professor Patrick McArdle were among those attending the event.
ICPS began in 2005 as a partnership between Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the ACT Community Services Directorate. Professor McArthur said the new agreement marked the continuation of an association that had been strengthened over the last 11 years.
“The support of the ACT Community Services Directorate has assisted ICPS to become a nationally recognised centre of research excellence in the area of child, youth and family welfare,” Professor McArthur said.
“Critical to the success of this partnership is recognising the needs of those who are vulnerable and marginalised in our community, and developing the evidence base for social research. Policy-makers and practitioners can draw on the results to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. Through this partnership, there has been a strong commitment to bridging this divide.”
Since 2005, ICPS and the ACT Community Services Directorate have partnered to complete more than 15 research and evaluation projects in Canberra, such as child protection workforce planning, enhancing responses for children and young people in out-of-home care, children’s experiences of homelessness, supporting transitions from juvenile detention, and evaluations of programs and frameworks.
The Kids Central Toolkit, for example, has become a significant professional development tool in the ACT. Results of collaborative research about the experiences of homelessness for accompanying children has inspired practical ideas and tools on how to support children through child-centred approaches.
ICPS and the Community Services Directorate are also partnering on an important three-year Australian Research Council grant to develop and trial an improved model of contact for children in out-of-home care and their families in the ACT and Victoria. This aims to improve children’s relationships with their birth parents.
Minister for Children and Young People Chris Bourke said it was important that the ACT government continue to support ICPS’s valuable work.
“The ICPS is a leader in carrying out high-quality research and professional development that ultimately improves strategies to prevent the abuse of children and reduce its impact on children,” Dr Bourke said.
“Renewing this agreement to provide continued funding for the ICPS is good news for our community as we continue to develop new ways to prevent the abuse of children and young people.”