Preventing child abuse: role of pre-employment screening

We recently prepared a report that maps evaluations of pre-employment screening practices that aim to prevent child sexual abuse in child-related work. The report is a scoping review prepared with The University of Melbourne for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Studies included in this scoping review reported some promise with the use of criminal background checks but, while these have limited effectiveness when used as the only safeguard, they may be important components of pre-employment screening practices. Further, the studies suggest that background checks may be more effective when combined with other safeguards, such as thorough reference checks and verification of the applicant’s identity, employment history and qualifications.

Read the full report in our resources section.

Read our March newsletter

Our first newsletter for 2015 is now available. In this edition we highlight a recent review of the evidence relating to out-of-home care practices in preventing child sexual abuse, and how this work has informed the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

We also give an update on the delivery of smalltalk within culturally diverse communities in Victoria, share two new research publications, and invite you to read our Year in Review 2013-14.

Read the newsletter

Support for breastfeeding mums

Raising Children Network has released free online videos to help the almost 300,000 Australian women who each year start breastfeeding. The video resource includes an Australian-first animation on how to get the best attachment. The videos feature real stories from real mothers talking about what has worked for them and breastfeeding experts offering tips and answers to common questions such as: Is baby getting enough milk? Is baby properly attached? How long should a feed last?

Raising Children Network has collaborated with infant nutrition experts, including the Australian Breastfeeding Association, to support mums during and beyond the early days of breastfeeding.

This online resource is particularly helpful for women who spend only a short time in hospital after childbirth and in the first few days at home with a new baby go online looking for breastfeeding support.

Forum: parents with mental illness

A one-day forum will be held at Monash University on 24 March 2015. The forum will focus on a model that helps parents who have a mental illness.

The forum, Developing a Recovery Model for Parents, will review Let’s Talk about Children, an evidence-based intervention that engages families and children within specialist mental health services. It is open to practitioners as well as people with lived experience of mental illness, and is part of the research program in the Victorian Government Mental Illness Research Fund (MIRF).

Warren Cann, CEO of the PRC, will be facilitating a session on how three different services are applying the Let’s Talk program.

 

Role of pre-employment screening in preventing child sexual abuse

Our report on the effectiveness of pre-employment screening in preventing child sexual abuse has found that criminal background checks are an important component of pre-employment screening practices. These background checks are most effective when combined with other safeguards, such as thorough reference checks and verification of the applicant’s identity, employment history and qualifications.

The report was prepared for the Royal Commission by the Parenting Research Centre and University of Melbourne.

Read about other key findings in our resources section.