The State Government has awarded the state’s leading researchers an almost $1 million boost towards further understanding and tackling child abuse and neglect.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the two postdoctoral fellowship programs, worth just under $1 million over two years, will be critical in shaping the state’s early intervention services in the future.
The funding will come from the State Government’s Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD).
“The new State Government is determined to do more to prevent child abuse and neglect in South Australia and this research will provide new insights to inform our policies and systems,” said Minister Lensink.
“With one in four South Australian children being reported to child protection by age ten, we urgently need to better understand where we can intervene and offer early support to families.
“Researchers will be looking at topics including how family and domestic violence intersects with child abuse and neglect, impacts on priority populations and regions around South Australia, and the over-representation of Aboriginal children.
“These five researchers from the Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) and Flinders University have well established expertise in the field and will help us to ensure our service systems are based on real evidence.”
Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson welcomed the funding boost.
“Early intervention and prevention is a high priority of the Liberal Government so we can begin to stem the flow of children entering the child protection system in South Australia,” said Minister Sanderson.
“New research is critical to ensure we implement the right programs and services for children – and their families – to intervene before they enter the child protection system.”
The new research will build on previous studies following the 2016 Nyland Report.
Findings from the first phase of research are currently being published, with the first case file review report identifying risk and protective factors for child abuse and neglect that impact during pregnancy, before a child is born.
EIRD is now working on using the research findings to shape a system redesign, with more details expected to be announced shortly.
Research reports and more detail can be found on the EIRD website at www.dpc.sa.gov.au.