Professor Daryl Higgins


Professor Daryl Higgins commenced as the Director of the Institute of Child Protections Studies in February 2017. His research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, he has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for over 25 years. He has contributed to over 230 publications and 450 presentations/media engagements. He has extensive experience in managing research and is passionate about knowledge translation and exchange services.


Improving wellbeing and safety outcomes for families and children beyond 2020 (Policy Think Space)

The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 (National Framework) provides the critical foundation for working together to achieve our shared national vision that Australia’s children and young people grow up safe and well.

The first three action plans under the National Framework delivered some key achievements, including the appointment of the National Children’s Commissioner, the development of National Standards for Out-of-Home Care, the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and delivery of projects to improve service responses for families experiencing vulnerability.

The National Framework is predicated on the importance of shifting investments over time toward early intervention and prevention under a public health model, and a belief that good outcomes will result from bringing together governments, NGOs and researchers in a tripartite collaboration process. We know, however, that more needs to be done.

With the National Framework concluding in late 2020, the time is right to start scoping the successor national policy strategy, to set bold goals for a national agenda that delivers better outcomes for all children and families. Australia must and can do better to create a nation where children thrive and flourish.

Conference participants will hear about some of the key challenges facing child safety and wellbeing policy makers, researchers and advocates from a range of disciplines through a deep dive discussion with panel members about how future policy can prioritise and address these issues to help pave a way forward.

The session will also include an audience Q&A on the successor national child and family policy agenda. Outcomes from this session will build on the findings from previous consultation activities led by Families Australia and help direct further work on shaping the post-2020 agenda.

– Gail Eaton-Briggs, Deputy Secretary, Dept. of Communities TAS
– Professor Daryl Higgins, Director, ICPS ACU
– Michael Hogan, Director General, Dept. Child Safety Youth and Women
– Sue-Anne Hunter, Principle Practitioner, VACCA

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