Update: Australian Implementation Conference 2016

Update 17 November 2015
The Parenting Research Centre (PRC) welcomes news that the Centre for Child Wellbeing (Save the Children Australia) and the University of Melbourne will co-host the 2016 Australasian Implementation Conference.
We look forward to supporting this conference through the involvement of our implementation experts on the program committee and as speakers.

8 October 2015
PRC and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) wish to advise that our organisations have reached a joint decision to cease hosting the 2016 Australian Implementation Conference (AIC).  

Having co-hosted two highly successful AIC events (2012 and 2014), both organisations are in agreement that we can no longer commit the significant resources required to deliver this conference.  

It is now time to let Australasia’s growing implementation community identify and pursue its next major knowledge-sharing initiatives. ARACY and PRC will support any such activities, albeit as participants rather than co-hosts.    

Both organisations are extremely proud of the leadership role AIC has played in raising the profile of implementation science and increasing collaboration in its practice.  

We jointly thank the many volunteers, partners, suppliers and staff for their efforts in delivering the highly successful 2012 and 2014 Australian Implementation Conferences.  

ARACY and PRC look forward to pursuing our respective endeavors in improving outcomes for children and their families by supporting the translation of research into practice.

Our submission to the Royal Commission into family violence

The Parenting Research Centre has made a submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria). Our submission highlights the need to build rigorous, empirical evidence for the effectiveness of interventions on family violence.

We recommend that to increase the positive impact of family violence interventions, it is important to support parents in their parenting role, for example through developing coping skills and building social connections. Interventions also need to prioritise family safety, particularly that of children.

Parenting Research Centre Director, Ms Annette Michaux, said the submission drew on the organisation's experience in identifying reliable evidence on programs and practices that support families in vulnerable circumstances.

"Unfortunately there isn't a great deal of rigorous research into interventions that address the needs of children affected by domestic violence.

"In addition to building an evidence base to identify interventions that work, we also need to remain mindful that evidence-based programs are more likely to be effective when they are implemented in a systematic and rigorous manner,” Ms Michaux said.

Report on implementation of recommendations relevant to the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission has released a report that assesses the extent to which 288 recommendations from 67 previous relevant inquiries have been implemented. It also highlights factors that determined, contributed to, or were barriers to successful implementation.

The report, Implementation of recommendations arising from previous inquiries of relevance to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, was prepared by the Parenting Research Centre.

Some of the findings include:

  • 64% of recommendations were implemented either in full (48%) or partially (16%)
  • 21% of recommendations were rated as not implemented (14% could not be determined)
  • successful implementation of recommendations was more likely where processes and structures that support implementation, strong leadership and stakeholder engagement were established
  • barriers to implementation of recommendations included resource and structural constraints and organisational culture.

See the full report and attachments in our resources section.

Read more in the Royal Commission media release.

Parenting Research Centre brokers an Australian first

In an Australian first, home-visiting practitioners have recently been trained in the internationally renowned and evidence-based SafeCare model.

SafeCare sees trained practitioners support parents in enhancing their positive interactions with children, keeping homes safe and improving child health.  

Through leadership from the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services, the Parenting Research Centre partnered with the National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC) of Georgia State University, USA, to conduct the first ever SafeCare training in Australia.  

“Four randomised control trials have shown that SafeCare significantly lowers reports of child abuse and neglect in families where children are considered at risk of maltreatment,” said Parenting Research Centre Director, Dr Robyn Mildon.  

“On the strength of this evidence the Parenting Research Centre has introduced SafeCare to a number of Australian governments and not-for-profit groups who themselves run home-based services to support families in preventing child neglect.

“As a leading intermediary organisation the Parenting Research Centre has assisted in adapting SafeCare to the Australian context and developing rigorous implementation support systems,” said Dr Mildon.  

The recent training involved representatives from the Department of Family and Community Services in Batemans Bay and Penrith, along with home-visiting practitioners from Wesley Mission’s Western Sydney Brighter Futures program.  

This training was made possible through funding from the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services.

For more information about the opportunities SafeCare might offer your organisation please contact the Parenting Research Centre.  

Visit NSTRC for more information about the SafeCare model.

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.