Tuesday, 17 February 2015 02:23
The Royal Commission has released a report on the effectiveness of out-of-home care (OOHC) practices in preventing child sexual abuse. The report, prepared by the Parenting Research Centre and the University of Melbourne, makes valuable findings which will be used to shape the Royal Commission’s final recommendations.
Royal Commission CEO Phillip Reed explained: “The Royal Commission was set up to investigate where systems have failed to protect children; a core area of our work is also recommending ways to improve them,” he said.
The report examines practices that help prevent child sexual abuse in out-of-home care, and the evidence around ways to reduce child-on-child sexual abuse, as well as abuse perpetrated by caregivers. However, it concludes that there are very few studies that have tested which practices or types of programs lead to decreased rates of sexual abuse of children.
“This research, combined with the submissions made to the Royal Commission’s 2013 issues paper Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Out-of-Home Care, and a public roundtable in April 2014, are important sources of information leading up to the public hearing on this matter in March this year,” Mr Reed said.
Key findings include:
- There is very limited, rigorous evidence available about the effectiveness of practices or programs that prevent child sexual abuse in out-of-home care.
- Most of the research available relates to training, support and/or treatment for sexually abusive and/or ‘acting out’ children in out-of-home care and their caregivers.
- The major focus on preventing child sexual abuse in out-of-home care should be on efforts to prevent sexual abuse between children rather than by caregivers, since child-child sexual abuse likely represents the vast majority of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care.
Read the full report in our resources section.