Assoc Prof Tim Moore (Institute of Child Protection Studies) with Professor Anne Graham (Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University), Prof Sally Robinson (Flinders University), Dr Donnah Anderson (Charles Sturt University), Prof Nicola Taylor (University of Otago, NZ), Emeritus Prof Nigel Thomas (University of Central Lancashire, UK), Dr Mary Ann Powell (University of Edinburgh), Dr Paola Castillo (Charles Sturt University), Dr Jenna Meiksans (University of South Australia), Dr Antonia Canosa, Dr Tess Boyle and PhD candidate Meaghan Vosz (Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University)


Australian Research Council




Child safety is now a national policy priority in Australia. Beyond appropriate governance, policy and procedural responses, little is known about what constitutes ethical practice with children and young people, nor how this contributes to cultural conditions that promote their safety and wellbeing.

This collaborative research project aimed to strengthen knowledge, policy and practice concerning 'child-safe' organisations by examining the role of ethical practice in improving children and young people's safety and wellbeing. Ethical understandings and practice were explored in three institutional contexts - schools, residential care and disability services.


This was a mixed methods study involving four phases:

Phase 1: Policy and analysis

A detailed comparative policy analysis reviewing current child safe discourse in relevant policy documents and practice guidelines (n=118) from different international jurisdictions, namely Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland.

Phase 2: Interviews

A qualitative phase involved interviews with children, young people, practitioners and managers in nine organisations (across schools, residential care and disability settings) to explore understandings and experiences of ethical practice.

Phase 3: Online survey

A quantitative (online survey) phase tested the findings of Phase 2 with a larger sample of children and practitioners in a wider range of education, residential care and disability settings.

Phase 4: Knowledge exchange

A knowledge exchange phase guided resource and policy development and support professional learning in a range of settings.

Read more about the EPIC project and our progress.

Associated publications

Graham, A., Canosa, A., Wall, J., & Thomas, P. (2023). Child-safe organizations and the ethics of empowered inclusion. Children & society.

Graham, A., Canosa, A., Boyle, T., Moore, T., Taylor, N., Anderson, D., & Robinson, S. (2022). Promoting students' safety and wellbeing: ethical practice in schools. The Australian Educational Researcher, 1-20.

Powell, M. A., Graham, A., Canosa, A., Anderson, D., Taylor, N., Robinson, S., Moore, T. & Thomas, N. P. (2020). Children and Safety in Australian Policy: Implications for Organisations and Practitioners. Australian Journal of Social Issues.

Powell, M. A., Graham, A., Canosa, A., Anderson, D., Moore, T., Robinson, S., Thomas, N. P. & Taylor, N. (2020). Child safety in policy: Who is being kept safe and from what? Social Policy & Administration.

Robinson, S., Graham, A., Canosa, A., Moore, T., Taylor, N., & Boyle, T. (2022). Ethical Practice in Disability Services: Views of Young People and Staff, Ethics and Social Welfare.


Tim Moore for further information.

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