Child Protection

Professor Russell Hawkins

I have a long standing interest in child protection research. One current ARC-funded study, in conjunction with colleagues from Griffith University and ACT for Kids, is a randomised controlled trial to evaluate a school based child protection programme. Child abuse is too prevalent in Australia, causing preventable suffering and injustice at an estimated financial cost of over $10 billion annually. Australia needs effective programs to prevent abuse, but there is little information available for policymakers or families. Learn to BE SAFE with Emmy™ is a school-based protection program for young children, designed by ACT for Kids, a QLD non-profit organisation. In this study, the Emmy program will be rigorously scrutinised to determine its effectiveness for promoting young children's knowledge, skills, well-being, use of protective behaviours and help-seeking, focusing also on cost-benefits. Outcomes will guide the prevention of child abuse and protect the well-being of Australian children.