Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia's most significant social problems. According to data gathered and reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in its 2014-15 Child Protection Australia report:
there were 320,169 notifications to child protection agencies that alleged child abuse or neglect, child maltreatment or harm to a child.
of the notifications investigated, 56,423 cases (relating to 42,500 children) were substantiated, which means that it was concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that the child had been or was being or was likely to be abused, neglected or otherwise harmed.
The number of notifications and substantiations has been steadily rising. In 2011-2012 there were 252,962 notifications of which 48,420 cases (involving 37,781 children) were substantiated.
These disturbing statistics refer to cases reported to child protection agencies. The number of children actually experiencing abuse across Australia may be much higher as many incidences of child abuse may go unreported.
Child abuse is rarely a one-off incident and the damage caused can have significant lifetime effects on mental, emotional and physical health, levels of educational attainment, employment, violence and crime, and addiction.
ACU’s online module
Completing ACU's online module is an important action that you can take to improve the safety and protection of children in our community. It can contains four parts which can each be completed in around 30 minutes.If you have not yet been asked to complete the module, you can expect this to occur in the coming weeks. If you would like to undertake the module now, please do so clicking the following link to the Staff LEO site https://leo.acu.edu.au/course/view.php?id=19723. There is a separate LEO site for students.
Further information about navigating the module and FAQs are available from the Staff LEO site for the module and may be of assistance if you have any problems. Once you have completed the module you should be able to print or save a certificate of completion.
For further information about ACU’s Policy and Procedures or the online module, contact Lisa Carroli, ACU’s National Child Protection Manager on email or 03 9953 3364 (Ext 3364).
If you or someone close to you has been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, the following organisations may be able to help you.
ACU’s Employment Assistance Program (EAP) for staff: 1800 818 728 or 1300 667 700