Child protection

Our research expertise

Child protection is a significant social issue in Australia. Sadly, tens of thousands of children are psychologically and/or physically harmed each year and the impact of such harm can be wide-ranging and long-term. Gathering research on the causes and impact of child abuse and neglect can lead to more effective prevention and early intervention strategies being developed.

AIFS has built expertise in child protection research primarily through the Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) Information Exchange, which took over from the work of the National Child Protection Clearinghouse.

Through an extensive research program, AIFS has built expertise in a range of areas, including:

  • risk and protective factors for abuse and neglect
  • strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect
  • out-of-home care
  • community development strategies for protecting children
  • multi-type maltreatment and complex trauma
  • child protection systems
  • child sexual abuse - impact and prevention.

Current research projects

Pathways of Care: The Longitudinal Study of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care
A large scale longitudinal study following the experiences of children and young people in out-of-home care in New South Wales.

Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study of Leaving Care
A long-term project focusing on the experiences of young people leaving the care system in Victoria.

Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) Information Exchange
A major source of quality, evidence-based information for professionals in the child, family and community welfare sectors.

Selected publications

Research by AIFS for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

See CFCA topics: Child abuse and neglect for all relevant publications by the Child Family Community Australia.

Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in NSW
This report provides data from face-to-face interviews with caregivers of 1,285 children and young people who were entering out-of-home care for the first time in NSW.

Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation
This journal article compares key frameworks for recognising the interrelatedness of childhood victimisation experiences - multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation.

A safe and supportive family environment for children: Key components and links to child outcomes
Reviews the prevalence of different types of family environments in society and explores the influence these environments have on different child outcomes.

Protecting children: Evolving systems
This article highlights the rapid expansion of child protection systems in Australia since the 1980s.

Did you know ...

40,549 children in Australia were living in out-of-home care arrangements in 2013.

Find out more


Antonia Quadara
Research Fellow

Rae Kaspiew
Senior Research Fellow

Cathryn Hunter
Senior Research Officer

Stewart Muir
Research Fellow

Kelly Hand
Deputy Director, Research

More information

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