The annual National Child Protection Week was held from 3 - 9 September, and provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on the status of child protection in Australia, and how well our communities are protecting children. Several staff were involved in presentations around Australia, and we also released two new Research to Practice issues during the week, focusing on young people’s safety in residential care.
These Research to Practice issues are based on our research conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. ICPS has significantly contributed to the research program of the Royal Commission over the last four years, and as the Royal Commission nears its conclusion we anticipate that the new and valuable insights from our research will inform their final recommendations. As part of our commitment to continue to support institutions to protect children, we developed a short animation for the Catholic National Committee for Professional Standards presenting the findings of these children’s safety studies, which was released across Australia on Child Protection Sunday; and we are working directly with several community services and education-based agencies. Earlier this month, I also wrote an article for The Conversation which calls on the leaders of institutions to take responsibility for organisational change, to ensure that children are better protected from harm.
We recently concluded an important research project for Melbourne City Mission, which examined the underlying causes of family conflict, and their relationship to youth homelessness. The findings of this research have already been presented at the Victorian Homelessness Conference, and the full report will be released in late 2017. This research has led to new findings regarding family conflict, and has important implications for practice with young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness - read more about this in the Research Update below.
We are also delighted to have commenced two new research projects commissioned by the Department of Social Services. The first will identify strategies for talking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children about family and domestic violence, while the second study is looking at statutory responses for children experiencing family violence, and will develop a profile of the children and families reported to child protection with issues of domestic and family violence, identify and map service responses, and implications for how services can better recognise and respond to violence.