The Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) aims to enhance outcomes for children, young people and families through quality research, evaluation, training and community education. Our research strengths include promoting children's participation, strengthening service systems and informing practice, and supporting child-safe communities.

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History and overview

ICPS is a nationally recognised centre of research excellence in the area of child, youth and family welfare. Established in 2005, ICPS commenced as a partnership between the ACU and ACT Community Services Directorate. We have offices in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, and conduct research across Australia and with international partners.

Through our research, evaluation and community engagement activities, ICPS aims to influence policy and practice to achieve positive social change, enhancement of the Common Good, and improved outcomes for children, young people and families. ICPS is committed to collaborative approaches to translating knowledge into policy and practice, enabled through partnerships with government, non-government and community organisations.

Our people

Our academic and professional staff team have backgrounds in social work, youth work, anthropology, psychology, public health and related fields, and have expertise in using appropriate and participatory approaches to engage with and promote the views of children, young people, families and other population groups, on issues affecting them.

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Our research

Our research has explored a range of issues affecting children, young people and families; such as child protection and statutory systems and processes (including contact for children in care), child protection interventions during pregnancy and infancy, safety within institutions, homelessness, substance use and other risk factors, families from refugee backgrounds, young carers and youth detention. Our research includes empirical research funded by Category 1 Competitive Research Grants from the Australian Research Council, as well as commercial funding opportunities. We have expertise in mixed-methods research, including quantitative and qualitative research, randomised controlled trials and comparative studies. In addition, we also support organisations and sectors to develop and implement evaluation frameworks, to better monitor and improve outcomes for communities.

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Who we work with

We have strong relationships with researchers, policy makers in government, organisational leaders and community partners. They complement our research expertise as key research and project partners. The majority of our work is conducted collaboratively and often involves co-design with the end-users of a project. Our partnerships and alliances enable us to apply our research, influence practice, and drive policy that achieves positive social change, and improve outcomes for children, young people and families.

Vision and objectives

Vision: ICPS generates and promotes knowledge to improve the wellbeing of children, young people, families and communities.

The objectives of ICPS are:

  • Advance and create knowledge to improve the safety and wellbeing of children, young people, families and communities
  • Develop and strengthen new research methodologies and methods
  • Build and maintain collaborations and partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Disseminate knowledge to inform policy, service delivery and practice
  • Foster a workplace environment that enables the recruitment, support, development and retention of quality academic and professional staff


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