To solve the problem we must first understand it.

Conducting quality research on child abuse and neglect and evaluating the effectiveness of actions and programs to prevent it is essential.

Too little research has been conducted into the wellbeing and safety of children and young people. For example in Australia we do not measure the prevalence of child abuse and neglect, we use the substantiated notifications to our eight State and Territory Child Protection Systems as a proxy, knowing it is a significant understatement.

NAPCAN believes it should be a national research priority to increase the knowledge of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect and effective strategies of preventing it in Australia.

The key research bodies which currently conduct and/or collate research in this area are:

Australia Catholic University – Institute of Child Protection Studies

Australian Institute of Criminology

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare “A Picture of Australia’s Children in 2009”

Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth

Centre for Child Protection at the University of SA