A National Approach for Child Protection

Project Report


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Content type
Policy and practice paper

December 2008


Leah Bromfield, Prue Holzer

The CDSMAC National Approach for Child Protection Project was commissioned in 2006 to examine the similarities and differences in child protection across Australian national, state, and territory jurisdictions. The main objectives of the project were to identify if there was a common approach across Australian jurisdictions in responding to the risks and protective needs of children and families and to provide high-level descriptions of key processes and approaches to the delivery of child protection services across Australia.

This report presents the findings of Stage 1 of the Project. It discusses the child protection system in Australia, legislation and policy frameworks, child welfare ideology, and key challenges and possible future directions for the system.   

Contents include: Executive summary -- 1. Project background -- 2. Statistical trends: National and international comparisons -- 3. The child protection orientation: Its characteristics and history -- 4. Legislative and policy principles underpinning practice -- 5. Defining child maltreatment -- 6. National comparison of child protection systems: What's changed in the past two years? -- 7. Breaking down the 'silos' -- 8. Child protection and family support services: Conceptual models -- 9. The nexus between risk and need -- 10. Early interventions: Preventing entry or re-entry into care and protection -- 11. Care and child protection services in Australia: Key Challenges and strategic directions.


A National Approach for Child Protection: Project Report is ony available in PDF format.