Social Work Symposium - Child Abuse and Social Work Practice: Learning from the Royal Commission

Published: Monday 14th September 2015

robert bland 

ACU's School of Allied Health is presenting a symposium reflecting on the issue of why abuse occurred in institutions and what we can learn from the Royal Commission.

The ongoing work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has exposed a sad history of child abuse across so many areas.

Social workers were part of that story of institutional care, and in many ways the profession has been shaped by the changing understanding of the care of children and families over those decades.

This presentation will reflect on the issue of why abuse happened in institutions and what we can learn from the Royal Commission.

Professor Robert Bland AM is the Discipline Lead for Social Work at ACU. In February 2015, Robert chaired a national Round Table for the Salvation Army on the topic Why did abuse happen in the Salvation Army institutions?

This project brought together child welfare experts, leaders in The Salvation Army, and representatives of survivor advocacy groups, to discuss the reasons for abuse.

Robert’s report for The Salvation Army has been circulated internationally and will shape the work of Salvation Army in their various territories throughout the world.

Robert is best known nationally for his work in mental health: as a clinician, researcher and teacher. His connection with institutional care of children, however, began over 45 years ago when he was a social work student living and working part-time in one of the boy’s homes.

Robert brings a strong personal commitment to the welfare of children to this presentation.


Ann O’Brien, Catholic Care Social Services, Diocese of Parramatta

Date: Wednesday 30 September 2015
Time: 4pm to 5.30pm
Venue: Function Room, Edmund Rice Building ACU 25A Barker Rd, Strathfield
RSVP (for catering): Allison Forrest, 02 9701 4218,