Adolescent survivors of child abuse and neglect

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Adolescent survivors of child abuse and neglect in the AIFS library catalogue

From child protection to youth justice : legal responses to the plight of 'crossover kids'.

Walsh T
University of Western Australia Law Review v. 46 no. 1 Sep 2019: 90-110
Though majority of young people involved with the child protection system do not commit criminal offences, a disproportionate number of young people who do offend have a child protection history. This article reports on a study in Queensland into the association between child protection and youth justice involvement from a legal perspective. Focus groups were held with lawyers, youth workers, and counsellors, regarding the range of offences are children in the child protection system were charged with, which children were most at risk of criminalisation, contributing factors, the consequences of criminalisation, what child protection system reforms are needed, and how children's contact with the criminal justice system could be reduced. The participants agreed that children placed in residential care were most at risk of becoming involved in the youth justice system, when compared with children in other types of placements, and that restorative and de-escalation techniques were needed rather than police and formal justice processes where possible. The need for stable caring relationships was also raised. The article concludes by considering in more detail the recommendations raised for system reform, child protection law, criminal law, youth justice, and social security.

Child maltreatment and attentional problems : a longitudinal birth cohort study.

Boyd M, Kisely S, Najman J and Mills R
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 98 Dec 2019: 104170
This article investigates whether child maltreatment is associated with attentional problems in adolescence or young adulthood. Using data from the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP), for young people at 14 and 21 years of age, it compares test results for attention problems with notifications for sexual and non-sexual forms of maltreatment. It finds that young people who experienced non-sexual forms of child abuse and neglect were more likely to have attentional problems.

'Every client has a trauma history': teaching respectful relationships to marginalised youth - an evaluation of NAPCAN's Respectful Relationships Program Northern Territory 2017-2018

Dobia B
Penrith, NSW : Western Sydney University, 2019.
NAPCAN has developed a trauma-informed respectful relationships education program in the Northern Territory for young people experiencing complex challenges. The program aimed to address a gap in the field of prevention education: young people with complex challenges are at high risk of abuse and yet have least access to educational experiences that can teach them to navigate relationships more effectively. The program provides training and resources to practitioners in the youth services sector and is adapted from its Love Bites school-based program to provide a more flexible-approach in informal settings. This report describes the development of the program and the evaluation findings. Drawing on consultations with practitioners from a variety of services, the development project investigated the specific needs of the youth sector, evaluated the perceived effectiveness of the program, assessed the program against current research literature, and reviewed the extent to which the program met the social and cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations. The report concludes with recommendations for further development.

Lost, not forgotten: inquiry into children who died by suicide and were known to Child Protection

Victoria. Commission for Children and Young People
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2019.
Though suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Victoria, the Commission for Children and Young People's child death inquiry noticed a pattern of child protection involvement among many of these children. This inquiry investigates this matter further, with a review of the services received by 35 adolescents who died by suicide and who had been in contact with child protection in the 12 months preceding death. It examines the quality and effectiveness of child protection, child and family, and mental health services delivered - or omitted to be delivered - and the systemic issues raised. The findings indicate that these 35 young people presented with multiple risk indicators that brought them into recurring contact with different service systems - many from an early age. However, most received only ineffective early intervention and a largely static response from child protection services. This report presents the findings of the inquiry and the recommendations for the Victorian Government and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision: 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2018

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
Research shows that children and young people who have been abused or neglected are at greater risk of engaging in criminal activity and entering the youth justice system. This report investigates the overlap between children and young people in both the child protection and youth justice systems in Australia, drawing on linked data from 6 jurisdictions over the four year period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2018. It provides information on involvement in either or both systems, care and protection orders, out of home care, age at first justice supervision, gender and Indigenous status, and types of supervision imposed. The findings show that though the majority of children who are abused or neglected do not go on to offend, a large proportion of children who offend do have a history of child protection involvement. Young people who had been under youth justice supervision were 9 times as likely as the general population to have received child protection services, and that Indigenous Australians were 17 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to have received both child protection services and youth justice supervision.

Exploring outcomes for young people who have experienced out-of-home care

Lima F, Maclean M and O'Donnell M
Perth : Telethon Kids Institute, 2019.
Young people leaving the care system are at high risk of disadvantage, due to the significant and complex issues they have faced in childhood and the lack of supports available as they transition to independent adult life. This report was commissioned to learn more about the outcomes of young people leaving care in Western Australia. It compares the physical and mental health, school achievement, justice involvement, and child protection involvement of children who had been in care, children with at least one substantiated maltreatment allegation but no time in care, and children with no child protection contact. It draws on linked population data for children born between 1 January 1990 and 30 June 1995 in Western Australia, regarding hospital admissions, mental health diagnoses and service use, secondary education completion, further education, juvenile justice sentences, adult justice sentences, early pregnancy, and multiple adverse outcomes. The findings are consistent with those of studies from other jurisdictions, with young people who had been in care were more likely to have adverse outcomes than the other children. Young people who were Aboriginal, female, born in a more disadvantaged area, or first entered care after the age of 10 were particularly at risk. Note, these children had wide-ranging periods in care, from two days up to 18 years, so further analysis is needed into differences by time spent in care, age on entering and leaving care, and placement type.

Improving educational connection for young people in custody: final report

White J, Te Riele K, Corcoran T, Baker A, Moylan P and Abdul Manan R
Melbourne, Vic. : Victoria University, 2019.
This report explores how education operates inside youth custodial setting in Victoria and how it could be improved. Based on a case study of Parkville College, it investigates the factors that enable and constrain participation in education in custody, how educational connections could be strengthened for the longer-term, and how education works as a protective factor for young people in the youth justice system. It discusses the context of youth justice in Victoria, the characteristics of the young people and their high rates of adversity, remand and custodial sentences, the values and culture of Parkville College, relationships between the College and the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the framework of space and time, and transitions out of custody. It concludes with key issues for attention.

Young people under youth justice supervision with varying child protection histories : an analysis of group differences.

Malvaso C, Delfabbro P, Day A and Nobes G
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology v. 63 no. 2 2019: 159-178
This article adds to what is known about the characteristics and needs of young people involved in both the child protection and youth justice systems. It reviews the cases of 2,045 young people who had been under youth justice supervision in South Australia between 1995 and 2012, comparing in particular different types or levels of child protection involvement. These include: no involvement, notification only, substantiated notification, notification or substantiation followed by placement in out-of-home care, and placement in out of home care without any notification or substantiation. The findings support the evidence that young people with a history of child protection involvement have significantly greater and more complex needs than those who have no child protection history.

'Crossover kids' - vulnerable children in the youth justice system. Report 1, Children who are known to child protection among sentenced and diverted children in the Victorian Children's Court

Stewart F
Melbourne, Vic. : Sentencing Advisory Council, 2019.
This is the first of two reports on the link between child protection and youth justice involvement in Victoria. It examines the the child protection backgrounds of children who received a sentence or diversion in the Victorian Children's Court in 2016 or 2017. It looks at the proportion of children known to child protection, levels of involvement and placement in care, specific sentence types, and age differences. The findings highlight the over-representation in the juvenile justice system of children from the child protection system, particularly those placed in residential care and Indigenous children. The study finds that, of children sentenced or diverted in the court, 38% were the subject of at least one child protection report, 25% were the subject of at least one substantiated report, and 15% experienced out-of-home care. Children with a child protection background were also more likely to appear before the courts at a younger age. The findings aim to inform sentencing practice and policy and identify earlier opportunities for intervention for these at risk children.

Children in need of help and protection: CIN review - final data and analysis

Great Britain. Dept. for Education
London : Dept. for Education, 2019.
Under the Children in Need Review, the British Government investigated how to ensure that children who have faced adversity or trauma or are disabled have the opportunity to achieve high educational standards. This report is one of three providing statistics and analysis to support the review. The March 2018 report looked at a range of educational and employment outcomes for children in the social care system. The December 2018 report presented preliminary findings from a new longitudinal dataset linking children's social care records between 2014-15 and 2016-17 to their education records. This new June 2019 report presents analysis on an expanded longitudinal dataset, which links social care records between 2012-13 and 2017-18. It analyses the characteristics and interactions of children receiving social care services over this period and their educational outcomes from early years through to higher education. After controlling for other factors, the study found that children who were in need of social care services were 50% less likely to achieve a strong pass in English and maths GCSEs, with the likelihood for those on a child in need plan or a child protection plan almost as low as looked after children. These students were around 3 times less likely to go on to study A levels at age 16, and almost 5 times less likely to enter higher education at age 18.

Good practice in supporting young people leaving care

Cameron N, McPherson L, Gatwiri K and Parmenter N
Sydney, N.S.W. : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
This research briefing provides an overview of what young people leaving residential care need and how those working in residential care can best help young people prepare for independence. Drawing on the Australian and international literature, it outlines the challenges facing young people leaving care, current entitlements in Australia, and the factors known to be crucial to positive transitions. This paper was produced by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, a partnership between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University established to support the rollout of the new Intensive Therapeutic Care system across New South Wales.

The evidence base for therapeutic group care: a systematic scoping review

McPherson L, Gatwiri K, Cameron N and Parmenter N
Sydney, NSW : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
This report presents a review of the literature about therapeutic care for children and young people in small congregate care environments. 'Therapeutic care' as a form of out-of-home care is a relatively new development in Australia but various models have been evolving overseas for at least fifty years. This review investigates what is known about: the backgrounds of children and young people in group care and the implications for their care needs; the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people; the needs of children of diverse backgrounds; and effective therapeutic models of residential or group care and their common elements. This report was produced by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, a partnership between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University established to support the rollout of the new Intensive Therapeutic Care system across New South Wales.

The 10 essential elements of Intensive Therapeutic Care in NSW

Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care
Sydney, NSW : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) is a specialised form of out of home care for young people who are recovering from the most severe forms of trauma, neglect, abuse or adversity, and who have complex and high needs and are require specialised and intensive supports to maintain stability in their care arrangements or are unable to be supported in foster care. The ITC service system is replacing residential care in New South Wales. This guide provides an overview of the ten key elements that form the basis for Intensive ITC service provision in the state. ITC service providers are expected to monitor and report on their performance against these elements. This guide was prepared by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, a partnership between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University established to support the rollout of the new Intensive Therapeutic Care system across the state.

Passports out of poverty : raising access to higher education for care leavers in Australia.

McNamara P, Harvey A and Andrewartha L
Children and Youth Services Review v. 97 Feb 2019: 85-93
This article explores higher education among care leavers in Australia, including pathways, access, and achievement. It draws on surveys and interviews with senior personnel from the higher education and community service sectors, and is part of a broader study that will also involve a review of the literature and data sets. The findings from this qualitative part of the study highlight the impact of childhood poverty, trauma and disadvantage on educational participation and outcomes.

Children in need of help and protection: data and analysis

Great Britain. Dept. for Education
London : Dept. for Education, 2018.
Under the Children in Need Review, the British Government investigated how to ensure that children who have faced adversity or trauma or are disabled have the opportunity to achieve high educational standards. This is the first of several reports providing statistics and analysis to support the review. It brings together a range of data sources to look at the educational outcomes for children in the social care system in 2015-16. Information is provided on demographic information, variation between local authorities, why children are assessed as in need by social workers, experiences and outcomes in social care including re-referrals, eligibility for free school meals, prevalence and type of special educational needs, educational outcomes from the early years to post-16 outcomes, and school experiences including rates of absence and exclusion and school moves. As at 31 March 2016, an estimated 3% of all children were in need of help and protection, with domestic violence and mental health the main concerns. Children in need have poor outcomes at every stage of education: the evidence suggests that they start behind other children in the early years and the gap widens throughout school.

Children in need of help and protection: preliminary longitudinal analysis

Great Britain. Dept. for Education
London : Dept. for Education, 2018.
Under the Children in Need Review, the British Government investigated how to ensure that children who have faced adversity or trauma or are disabled have the opportunity to achieve high educational standards. This is the second of several reports providing statistics and analysis to support the review. An earlier report looked at a range of educational outcomes for children in the social care system in 2015-16. This new report expands on that study by creating a dataset which links pupils who have been in need at any point between 2011-12 and 2016-17 to their 2016-17 education records. It finds that at least 1 in 10 pupils in state schools in 2016-17 had been in need at some point since 2011-12, and over a third of children who were in need in 2014-15 were in need in 2016-17. Pupils who were in need at any point between 2011-12 and 2016-17 had worse educational outcomes than pupils who were not, indicating lasting negative impact beyond the point of being in need.

The maltreatment-violence link : exploring the role of maltreatment experiences and other individual and social risk factors among young people who offend.

Malvaso C, Delfabbro P, Day A and Nobes G
Journal of Criminal Justice v. 55 Mar/Apr 2018: 35-45
This article investigates whether child abuse is associated with later violent offending in young adulthood. A study was conducted with 1,819 young people detained for violent offences, drawing on a survey and child protection and youth justice records. Characteristics of any maltreatment, out of home care, and individual and family factors were reviewed. It found that persistent maltreatment was strongly associated with violent offending, with anger, aggression, gender and cultural background playing a moderating role.

Child sexual abuse in custodial institutions: a rapid evidence assessment

Sayer E
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018.
To assist their work in the United Kingdom, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned this rapid evidence assessment into child sexual abuse in custodial institutions. It reviews literature on the prevalence of child sexual abuse in custodial institutions, the socio-demographic characteristics of victims and perpetrators, the factors associated with custodial institutions's failure to protect or act to protect children in their care, and the nature of the safeguarding systems in place, how they have changed over the years, and how they may be improved. It focuses on research from England and Wales, with reference to overseas studies where necessary. The review finds that though there is a lack of research on child sexual abuse in custody in England and Wales, the available information indicates that child sexual abuse does occur within this setting and that it does so within its broader context of victimisation and violence. Several personal, cultural, and environmental factors are identified as contributing to keeping children safe or, conversely, exposing them to higher levels of risk. Welsh and summary versions of this report are also available.

'I'm not getting out of bed!' The criminalisation of young people in residential care.

Gerard A, McGrath A, Colvin E and McFarlane K
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 4 Jun 2018: Advance online publication
This explores professionals' views on why children in residential care are over-represented in the criminal justice system in Australia. Interviews were conducted with 46 professionals including police officers, service providers, lawyers, and juvenile justice workers, highlighting the impact of factors such as the care environment itself, staff training, and funding.

Adverse childhood experiences in a South Australian sample of young people in detention.

Malvaso C, Delfabbro P and Day A
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 22 Nov 2018: Advance online publication
This article investigates the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences in young people involved in the youth justice system in South Australia. It reviews the cases of 2,045 young people who spent time in detention between 1995 and 2012 to examine prevalence, multiple rates, the interrelation of adverse childhood experiences, violent offences, and differences by gender, cultural background, and Indigenous status. The findings show that adverse childhood experiences were common among these young people, particularly for young people with convictions for violent offences. Particular adverse childhood experiences include physical and sexual abuse, household conflict, family criminality, and substance use problems.

Care-criminalisation : the involvement of children in out-of-home care in the New South Wales criminal justice system.

McFarlane K
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology v. 51 no. 3 Sep 2018: 412-433
This article explores at the association between the out of home care and justice systems. It reviews the case files of 160 children appearing before the New South Wales Children's Court, finding that though all the children shared many of the risk factors, children who had been in out of home care appeared before the court at disproportionately higher rates and at significantly younger ages. The article also discusses the concept of 'care-criminalisation', where the living arrangements designed to protect these young people from harm instead create an environment for offending.

How school, family, and community protective factors can help youth who have experienced maltreatment

Wilkinson A and Lantos H
Bethesda, MD : Child Trends, 2018.
Children who experience abuse and neglect face a higher risk of engaging delinquency later in adolescence and criminal behaviour in young adulthood. This report explores this association further, investigating the role of individual characteristics and protective factors and trajectories in delinquent or criminal behaviour over time. It draws on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, from the United States, to examine the relationship between child maltreatment and delinquent or criminal behaviour, the protective factors that can decrease the risk, and variations by gender, race, and sexual orientation, from age 18-32. The findings show that people who experience maltreatment as children are more likely to engage in delinquent or criminal behaviour, for males in particular. Most delinquent or criminal behaviours take place in adolescence and drop significantly by adulthood, regardless of maltreatment status, and having a connection to school, a parental figure, or their neighbourhood has a protective effect, also regardless of maltreatment status, but in particular for preventing nonviolent delinquency among youth who experienced maltreatment. The findings have implications for designing interventions.

Evidence brief: complex needs

Chen E and Hanks M
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2018.
This paper provides a high-level overview on the nature and service responses regarding complex needs among children and young people involved in the care and youth justice systems. It summarises the latest international literature on the definition and frameworks of complex needs in care populations, the characteristics of those with complex needs in the care and youth justice populations, risk and protective factors, and service and therapeutic responses. Children in the care and youth justice populations experience multiple issues - from behaviour problems to drug abuse - that are interrelated and serious, but the evidence base for what works in addressing such complex needs in care is relatively limited. Males, and those identifying as indigenous, are over-represented in the care and justice systems of many jurisdictions, and deprivation, poverty, and a history of trauma are particular risk factors.

Youth justice report: consultation with young people in out-of-home care about their experiences with police, courts and detention

CREATE Foundation
Spring Hill, Qld : CREATE Foundation, 2018.
This report provides insights into the over-representation of young people from out of home care in the youth justice system. It presents findings from interviews with 148 young people who had been in care, regarding how they became involved with the justice system, their treatment by justice system personnel, the support they received at that time, the outcome of their involvement in the justice system, and their recommendations for improving the justice system. Participants were aged 18-25 years old and were recruited from across Australia. The study identifies three distinct groups: offenders, young people who had contact as they had been reported missing, and victims of crime. The report concludes with recommendations for adopting a trauma-informed approach in the justice system, as well as improving case management and supports. The literature on abuse, out-of-home care, and youth justice involvement is also briefly reviewed.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision: 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018.
Research shows that children and young people who have been abused or neglected are at greater risk of engaging in criminal activity and entering the youth justice system. This report investigates the overlap between children and young people in both the child protection and youth justice systems in Australia, drawing on linked data from 6 jurisdictions. The cohort is children aged 10-14 on 1 July 2013 who were subject to a youth justice supervision order at any time between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2017 in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. Information is provided involvement in either or both systems, care and protection orders, out of home care, age at first justice supervision, gender and Indigenous status, and types of supervision imposed. The findings reveal that young people who had been under youth justice supervision were 9 times as likely as the general population to have received child protection services, and that Indigenous Australians were 17 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to have received both child protection services and youth justice supervision.

Ngaga-dji (hear me): young voices creating change for justice.

Koorie Youth Council
Melbourne, Vic. : Koorie Youth Council, 2018
'Ngaga-dji' is a plan to enable Aboriginal children in Victoria to thrive, in response to the systemic issues that lead to young people harming themselves and others and exposure to the youth justice system. It incorporates solutions that aim to provide effective services, keep children safe and strong in their culture, families, and communities, provide community designed and led youth support solutions, and create just and equitable systems. Ngaga-dji translates as 'hear me' in the Woiwurrung language, and the plan is based on consultation with 42 children and young people who were currently or previously under youth justice supervision. This report sets out the elements of the plan and presents several of the young people's stories, with illustrations, to capture their voices and highlight not only how systems can cause harm and entrench trauma and disadvantage, but also how strong families and communities and culturally-based services can change pathways.

Out-of-home care and the educational achievement, attendance, and suspensions of maltreated children : a propensity-matched study.

Maclean M, Taylor C and O'Donnell M
Journal of Pediatrics v. 198 Jul 2018: 287-293
This article investigates whether children in out of home care have better or worse educational outcomes than maltreated children who remain at home. It compares reading scores, attendance, and suspensions in Year 9 for maltreated children who either entered out-of-home care or who remained at home, uses linked administrative data from Western Australia for all children born between 1990 and 2010 with substantiated maltreatment before year 9. The analysis found that both groups of maltreated children had poor outcomes for reading and being suspended, but that children in out-of-home care had fewer school absences.

Children and young people [The Justice Project].

Law Council of Australia
The Justice Project : final report. Braddon, A.C.T. : Law Council of Australia, 2018: 90p
This is the final report of the Justice Project, a comprehensive national review into the state of access to justice for at risk groups in Australia. This chapter focuses on the issues facing children and young people. It provides information on the prevalence of legal needs, types of legal problems, at risk groups, children in juvenile detention, how children and young people respond to their legal problems, the barriers constraining children and young people from accessing justice, laws and policies that exacerbate barriers, critical gaps in services, and priorities for reform. Issues discussed include age of criminal responsibility, bail laws, the lack of specialist legal services and courts, dependency on adults, child protection and out of home care, policing practices, juvenile detention centres, pathways into the juvenile justice system, intersections between the care and protection and juvenile justice systems, fines, and the lack of support and rehabilitation and of independent monitoring and oversight.

Correlates of self-harm and suicide attempts in justice-involved young people.

Shepherd S, Spivak B, Borschmann R, Kinner S and Hachtel H
PLOS Medicine v. 13 no. 2 15 Feb 2018: e0193172
This article investigates what factors are associated with self-harm among young people in the youth justice system. 215 young people aged 12-21 years old in youth detention in Victoria took part in the study, and were asked about self-harm, attempted suicide, and factors such as childhood trauma, prior contact with mental health services, little interest in school, peer rejection, coping skills, substance abuse, and a history of violence. The study found that 33% of these young people reported previous self-harm and 12% reported at least one suicide attempt, and a history of childhood trauma, contact with mental health services, and low educational interest significantly increased the likelihood of self-harm. The findings have implications for identifying and supporting at risk youth.

Report on youth justice

Atkinson B
Brisbane, Qld. : Youth Justice Taskforce, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, 2018.
This inquiry was appointed to examine three youth justice matters in Queensland: the progress of the State Government's youth justice reforms, other measures to reduce recidivism, and recommendations for youth detention from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This report presents the inquiry's findings and recommendations on the first two matters: the third matter will be reported on separately. The key recommendation is that the Queensland Government adopt, as its policy position for youth justice, four objectives that are framed by two fundamental principles: that public safety is paramount and that community confidence is essential. The 'Four Pillars' objectives are: intervene early; keep children out of court; keep children out of custody; and reduce reoffending. This report sets out the rationale for this approach and presents short papers providing further detail on issues such as health and wellbeing, substance abuse, minor offending, bail, remand in custody, restorative justice, sentencing options, detention, electronic monitoring devices, stand-alone specialist children's court, stand-alone child legislation, legal representation in the children's criminal jurisdiction, multi-agency coordinated approaches, place-based approaches, information sharing, after-hours services, technology to reduce car theft and traffic offending, regional cross-agency coordination, media, evaluation and knowledge dissemination, minimum age of criminal responsibility, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over-representation.
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