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.
Risk factors for child maltreatment
United States : DQ Institute, 2020.
The Child Online Safety Index (COSI) website presents the latest statistics of children's online safety from 30 different countries. The original release in 2020 was based on data collected from 145,426 children and adolescents from 2017-2019 and will be automatically updated as the countries progress with their child online safety and digital citizenship initiatives. First, this report describes the index and its framework and methodology. It then presents regional and national data for indicators of child online safety including cyberbullying, exposure to risky or violent content, risky contacts, cyber threats, excessive screen time, high rates of social media and gaming, mobile device ownership by children, digital citizen identity, digital empathy, digital footprint, critical thinking, privacy management, parental guidance, online safety education, legal frameworks, industry engagement, cyber security infrastructure, access, and speed. Australia ranked 2nd out of the 30 countries, with above average performance in most measures. However, risks were still present, which improvement in guidance and education related measures could help address.
Washington, DC : Children's Bureau, 2020.
This annual report series presents data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States. This report presents data for 2018, for each state, regarding children who received an investigation or alternative response, number of child victims, children by age group and report source, maltreatment types, child fatalities, child and perpetrator risk factors, substance-exposed infants, perpetrator relationship, and prevention and postresponse services. This 2018 report also includes special sections on sex trafficking and infants with prenatal substance exposure. The 2018 data show more than four-fifths of victims suffer a single type of maltreatment, with the majority, at 60%, being are neglected. An estimated 1,770 children died of abuse and neglect.
Brisbane, Qld. : Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, 2020.
This report was commissioned to learn more about current awareness, perceptions and attitudes about online child sexual exploitation in Australia, to help inform effective prevention and education activities. The research involved a review of the literature, focus groups and interviews with 159 parents, educators, health professionals and others involved in children's lives, and an online survey with 2,559 again of these adults. Topics include: children and young people's online behaviours, knowledge of online safety and online child exploitation, myths and misconceptions about risk and safety, attitudes towards online child sexual exploitation and interest in child online safety, social norms, motivators and barriers to implementing effective preventative measures, and impact of exposure to educational messages and information. The findings highlight how today's parents are the first generation to be raising children following the digital evolution, with most children accessing the internet from an early age and many parents feeling overwhelmed and that their children have a better understanding of technology than they do. The issue of online child sexual exploitation is also not well known or understood. The findings suggest that a multi-pronged and ongoing prevention strategy is needed.
Edinburgh : Scottish Government, 2020.
Much of the research in the United Kingdom and in other jurisdictions suggests that at least around one third of all harmful sexual behaviour towards children and young people is committed by other children and young people. This Expert Group was convened in Scotland to consider the evidence relating to the occurrence, causes, and nature of this harmful behaviour and to review current responses and potential further actions for prevention and intervention. This report sets out the evidence gathered by the Expert Group and presents its proposals for practice and further research. The Expert Group included professionals from across the child protection, education, health, justice, and service sectors in Scotland and featured sub-groups on children and young people with intellectual disabilities, collaborative working, intra-familial behaviour, internet pornography, involvement of younger children, use of the NSPCC audit tool, peer on peer abuse, and risk assessments and responses. Consultations were also held with young people.
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2020.
This paper discusses the latest data on the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection and out-of-home care systems in Australia. It examines rates of substantiations of notifications, the findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, the extent of abuse and neglect among Indigenous children, why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children might be more likely to be abused or neglected, the most common types of abuse and neglect reported, placement rates in out of home care, how this differs from abuse and care among non-Indigenous children, and possible reasons for this over-representation. Data is taken largely from the 2017-18 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, published in 2019. The paper also discusses the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Child Placement Principle for out of home care and the barriers to children being placed in accordance with this principle. It concludes with an outline of the key government and peak body campaigns to address this over-representation.
Child Abuse Review 23 May 2019: Advance online publication
This article explores the key challenges in caring for children and young people vulnerable to sexual exploitation in residential care. It draws on focus groups with 17 workers in Victoria, as part of a broader project into preventing child sexual exploitation and harm. The workers identified three key issues: children and young people going missing from home, children and young people not identifying as victims, and unhelpful police responses when children and young people go missing. The implications for practice and training are briefly discussed.
Child Abuse Review v. 28 no. 5 Sep/Oct 2019: 321-338
This article compares theories on why disabled children are at risk of homicide and maltreatment-related death. It reviews the international literature on several key theories that have been discussed, including caregiver stress, altruism, a lack of bonding with the child, stress from a child's challenging behaviours, cultural beliefs, and evolutionary imperatives. The review first found that though disability is often identified as a risk factor in most reviewed articles, the type of disability is not consistently defined or recorded. However, caregiver stress and altruism are reported as the two most common motivations given. The pathways to homicide and death are discussed.
Child Abuse Review v. 28 no. 5 Sep/Oct 2019: 339-352
This article compares international rates of child mortality, child abuse-related deaths, and child undetermined deaths in developed nations, with a particular focus on the role of income inequality and how America compares. The findings highlight how America, despite being the richest country in the world, has the highest rates of child abuse and total child mortality among developed nations, as well as the highest income inequality. The article also discusses methodological issues in comparing mortality data across nations and the association between poverty and child death.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Criminology Research Grants Program, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
This report investigates the overlap of children and young people with child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system, and the factors which contribute to justice system entry and entrenchment. It presents the findings from a two-year case file audit of 300 children and young people appearing before the Victorian Children's Court, combined with consultations with 82 key stakeholders. The audit examined children's exposure to maltreatment and other family adversity - including parental divorce, drug use, mental illness, and death - as well as types of abuse experienced, child protection and out of home care involvement, co-occurring challenges such as learning and behaviour problems, mental health or drug use issues, age at first contact with the justice system, type and severity of offending, recidivism, sentencing outcomes, and regional differences between the courts. The stakeholder were consulted about the characteristics of cross-over children and families, the context and nature of offending among cross-over children, Indigenous children, averting the pathway to the justice system, and responding to offending behaviour. Both data sources emphasised children's dual nature as both victims and offenders, and the systems limitations in acknowledging and responding to children's victimisation. The findings also suggest a need for earlier and more intensive support, as well as the need for a range of strategies for preventing, diverting and responding to these children's criminal justice system involvement.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
"The over-representation of children from child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system is a significant and longstanding concern. While the association between child maltreatment and youth offending is established, the pathway of child protection-involved youth to criminal justice outcomes has received little attention. This paper presents selected findings of a detailed case file audit of 300 crossover children appearing before the Victorian Children's Court in 2016-17. Findings explore children's exposure to maltreatment and other adversity, as well as their child protection involvement, co-occurring challenges, offending and sentencing outcomes. The risk factors for earlier and more serious offending are also examined. Results indicate that crossover children present with more serious offending profiles than other court-involved children. The findings emphasise the need to prevent, divert and respond to crossover children's criminal justice contact."--Publisher abstract.
Sydney, NSW : NSW Ombudsman, 2019.
This report reviews the deaths of children in 2016 and 2017 in New South Wales in order to identify any trends and patterns and to make recommendations on how similar deaths might be prevented. It brings together two biennial child death review reports by the NSW Ombudsman that were previously published separately: the report of the NSW Child Death Review Team and the review of 'reviewable' deaths, which are deaths that may be due to abuse or neglect or that occur in suspicious circumstances or in care or detention. The report presents information on trends in the deaths of children, the leading causes of death, deaths from multiple causes, sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy, deaths resulting from unintentional injury, deaths from suicide, and deaths occurring in the context of abuse or neglect, with some information on trends included. Over the past 15 years, the mortality rate in New South Wales declined by 27%, mostly reflecting a significant decline in infant deaths. Mortality rates vary by gender, Indigenous background, remoteness and socio-economic status, with significantly higher rates of death for Indigenous children, children in remote areas, and children in disadvantaged areas - as well as children with a child protection history. The leading cause of death is natural causes, except for 15-17 year olds, who are at higher risk of transport accidents and suicide.
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2019.
This report presents findings from a community survey on vulnerable children in New Zealand, and analyses the implications for action. 1,548 people took part in this 2019 Children in New Zealand Communities survey, answering questions about the current state of child wellbeing in New Zealand, what child and youth vulnerability and wellbeing look like, the causes and implications of child vulnerability, who is responsible for the wellbeing of children and young people, and barriers and motivations for intervening. Though the survey found a reasonable awareness of the contributors to vulnerability, many felt that poor parenting was to blame, and these people may be resistant to accepting any personal or community responsibility. This project is part of the 'Engaging all New Zealanders' initiative, which aims to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people by raising community awareness, creating a sense of shared responsibility, and shifting attitudes and social norms.
Annual report 2018-19. Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2019: 19-38
The Victorian Commission for Children and Young People conducts an inquiry into the services provided to every child who dies and was known to Child Protection in the 12 months before their death, to identify aspects of the service system that need to be improved to help children in the future. This chapter describes the child death inquiries undertaken in the 2018/19 period. It presents information, case studies, and statistics relating to the number of child death notifications received, age, Aboriginal status, category of death, living arrangements, policy and practice issues identified by the inquiry, and progress towards previous recommendations. Comms themes identified include inadequate risk assessment, the impact of workload on practice, inappropriate or unsuccessful referrals to support services, higher rates of SIDS/SUDI, poor response to family violence, and failure to engage with fathers. The Commission also investigates adverse incidents relating to children in out of home care, including foster care and secure care. The chapter presents information and statistics on the types of incidents reported, type of care setting, and common themes. Incidents include self harm, physical abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation, and absenteeism.
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2019.
This report highlights the work and achievements of the Commission for Children and Young People in Victoria in 2018/19. The Commission is mandated to promote continuous improvement and innovation in policies and practices relating to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people generally and in particular those who are vulnerable, as well as the provision of out-of-home care services for children. The Commission incorporates the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People and is responsible for undertaking child death inquiries and administering the Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme. Financial statements are also included in this report, as well as some statistics and information relating to the child death inquiries and mandatory notifications relating to allegations of reportable conduct. In this period, the Commission received 805 notifications of reportable allegations from heads of organisations, but it will take some years for numbers of notifications to settle into a predictable trend given the only recent commencement of the Scheme. 32 child death inquiries were also undertaken, relating to children who died from 2015-2019.
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.
Atlanta, GA : National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019.
Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood or adolescence such as experiencing abuse, witnessing violence, or growing up in a household with substance misuse. ACEs can have negative, lasting effects on health, wellbeing, and opportunity. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has produced a suite of technical packages to help states and communities take advantage of the best available evidence to change norms, environments, and behaviors in ways that can prevent ACEs from happening in the first place as well as to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of ACEs. This paper outlines the core strategies of these packages: strengthen economic supports for families; promote social norms that protect against violence and adversity; ensure a strong start for children; teach skills; connect youth to caring adults and activities; and intervene to lessen immediate and long-term harms.
London : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019, c2020.
This book is written for health professionals, social workers and child protection practitioners working with babies and young children facing a range of complex issues. Authors from Australia and overseas discuss good practice and highlight the importance of this developmental period. Chapters include: introducing the infant: and how to support vulnerable babies and young children; reflective supervision's essential place in thoughtful practice; restoring ruptured bonds: the young child and complex trauma in families; developing an intervention for infants and young children in foster care; keeping the child in mind when thinking about violence in families; 'murder in their family': making space for the experience of the infant impacted by familial murder; homelessness in infancy: finding 'home' for babies in crisis accommodation after family violence; self-determining support for Indigenous children in Australia: the Bubup Wilam case study; the 'international infant': examining the experiences and clinical needs of separated and reunited transnational infant-parent dyads; 'invisible children': how attachment theory and evidenced-based procedures can bring to light the hidden experience of children at risk from their parents; infants and young children living within high-conflict parental disputes: 'keep me safe and organise my emotional world'; playing behind the barbed-wire fence: asylum-seeking infants and their parents; infants with cancer: the oncology unit as their second home; high-risk infant mental health outreach: creating a professional community of caregivers using a collaborative mental health and nursing approach; and the art of finding authentic discourses for parents about and with their donor-conceived children.
Ashfield, NSW : FACS Insights, Analysis and Research, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, 2019.
This report presents information on the number and characteristics of children in the protection system in New South Wales in 2016-2017 with a teenage parent and identified as being at risk of significant harm. Though only 1.4% of children met this criteria, these children were more likely to be assessed as unsafe, be reported at a younger age, to have received reports across most categories of abuse and neglect, and enter out-of-home care. Nine in ten of their parents themselves had child protection involvement as a child. Differences are also noted between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teenage parents. Teenage parents are often subject to an intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect, making their children a small but distinct and important sub-group requiring a targeted service response.
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2019.
This report looks into the number and circumstances of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teenage parents with children in out of home care in New South Wales. Using data from the Pathways of Care longitudinal study (POCLS), it investigates the association of parent age with child protection history, type of abuse, entry into care, restoration attempts, contact with children, and relationship with child, comparing parents aged 15-19 years, 20-25 years, and 26 years and over. The study found that a small but significant number of children in out of home care were born to teenage parents. These parents also had high rates of child protection involvement themselves. Restorations were successful on the first attempt for 71.9% of children with Aboriginal teenage mothers and 78% of children with non-Aboriginal teenage mothers.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 97 Nov 2019: 104145
This article investigates children's risk of child protection system involvement - looking at risk of involvement across their whole childhood rather than year at a time. It analyses linked administrative data from South Australia for all 608,547 children born between 1986 and 2017. It compares investigations, substantiations, and out-of-home care involvement, and differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, age groups, and across years. Rates varied across this period, but 1.5% of non-Aboriginal and 12.7% of Aboriginal children were placed in care.
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.
EClinicalMedicine 18 Aug 2019: Advance online publication
This article adds to what is known about the intergenerational impact of family violence. It looks at the prevalence of childhood abuse and intimate partner violence in a cohort of new mothers, its association with their postpartum physical and mental health, and their own children's emotional-behavioural difficulties at 4 years of age. Data is taken from the Maternal Health Study, a longitudinal study of 1,507 women recruited during pregnancy in Victoria. The study found high rates of violence in the lives of these mothers, with two out of five reporting abuse in childhood and almost one in three reporting intimate partner violence during the first four years of motherhood, with increased rates of poor physical and mental health. In turn, higher levels of such adversity and poor health in mothers was associated with a higher risk of emotional-behavioural difficulties in their children. However, the children of mothers with childhood but not adulthood abuse had similar rates of emotional-behavioural difficulties to children whose mothers hadn't experienced any family violence.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 95 Sep 2019: 104014
The children of mothers who experience family violence are known to face a higher likelihood of child maltreatment, but what about the children of mothers who experience violence in general? This article looks at the association between child maltreatment allegations and having a mother hospitalised due to assault, using child protection data linked with hospital administrative data from Western Australia. It finds that these children are significantly more likely to receive a maltreatment allegation than other children, with Aboriginal children and the children of mothers assaulted during pregnancy particularly at risk.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 93 Jul 2019: 91-102
This article investigates whether cross-agency administrative data can be used to identify children at risk of placement in out-of-home-care before the age of 13-14 years old. It draws on data from the New South Wales Child Development Study, which involved linked data from 1994-2016 for 72,079 children and their parents. The study identifies a combination of six risk indicators that can classify children placed in out of home care with approximately 95% accuracy, and the presence of at least four of these indicators provides 99.6% accuracy.
Children and Youth Services Review v. 104 Sep 2019: Article 104404
This article reports on families and professionals' views on child abuse safety and risk among children and young people with intellectual disability. Interviews were conducted with 6 family members and 10 disability support professionals, regarding children's own priorities for safety, the strategies that children and young people used when they felt unsafe, the role of service systems in facilitating or constraining safety, and the skills and capabilities needed by children and young people. The findings highlight the differences and similarities in the views and approaches of families and professionals, and the implications for education.
Children and Youth Services Review v. 104 Sep 2019: Article 104391
This article investigates whether there are differences in the factors associated with child abuse being reported or substantiated. It has been held that the same factors predict both the reports and substantiations of child abuse, since child protection decisions are determined primarily by what evidence is available. However, this article contends that there are meaningful differences in these predictors, and any similarity is due to the way recurrence measures are constructed. It tests this theory with administrative data from Queensland of a sample of 9,608 children. It found that children subject to high rates of reporting were relatively unlikely to have high rates of substantiation, and that different predictors were involved. The findings raise concerns for any performance measurement or risk assessment instruments based on measures of recurrence.
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2019.
This paper investigates whether there is a causal relationship between low income and child maltreatment and thus whether welfare reforms that lower or raise incomes can affect rates of abuse. It reviews New Zealand and overseas studies that employ experimental designs to control for confounding factors. Overall, the available evidence shows there is a causal association between low income and maltreatment outcomes, suggesting that welfare policies that decrease incomes are likely to contribute to negative outcomes for children. There is also evidence that increasing the incomes of at-risk populations is linked to a reduced incidence of child maltreatment. A number of studies found a significant relationship between low income and neglect, consistent with the wider literature, but the link with physical abuse or other types of abuse is less clear. The paper also considers some of the factors that can affect the impact of welfare and tax policies.
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2019.
As part of the work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, this report looks into sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions in England and Wales. Though children in detention are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, very little is known about their experiences or the extent to which institutions have discharged their duty of care to protect them. The report investigates the nature and extent of sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions - including young offender institutions, secure training centres, and secure children's homes - as well as institutional responses to abuse and institutional and systemic protections, focusing on the recent years of 2009-2017. The report identifies the risks and barriers to reporting found in these places and calls for their culture and ethos to move from control and discipline to a child-centred approach to care and support and, indeed, for community alternatives to remand to be considered.
Washington, DC : Children's Bureau, 2019.
This annual report series presents data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States. This report presents data for 2017, for each state, regarding children who received an investigation or alternative response, number of child victims, children by age group and report source, maltreatment types, child fatalities, child and perpetrator risk factors, substance-exposed infants, perpetrator relationship, and prevention and postresponse services. The 2017 data show that three-quarters of victims were neglected, 18.3% were physically abused, and 8.6% were sexually abused, and an estimated 1,720 children died of abuse and neglect. Though the number and rate of victims have fluctuated during the past 5 years, the number of children who received a child protective response has increased 10%.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2019.
The Early Years Education Program is an early years care and education program in Victoria targeting children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage. The program aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. This is the fourth report from an evaluation of the program, and looks at the impacts on children and their carers after the first 2 years of enrolment. A total of 145 infants and toddlers were recruited to the EYEP trial, from 99 families engaged with family services or child protection services. Outcomes include IQ, language skills, protective factors related to resilience, social-emotional development, carer psychological distress, and the home environment. This fourth report found that the program had a significant positive impact on IQ, protective factors related to resilience, and social-emotional development. However, these varied by gender: for example, resilience was significantly improved for boys but not at all for girls.