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Strategic partnerships

Collaborative child protection programs addressing the need for system-level change across two priority areas.


  • Priority 1: Enhance awareness on child protection, wellbeing and safety within communities experiencing disadvantage and supporting place-based responses to improve child protection outcomes

The Benevolent Society

The Benevolent Society’s vision is a just society where all Australians can live their best lives. They are experienced in leading collaborative initiatives which broaden the impact of services by harnessing local knowledge, fostering partnerships and providing a framework to support positive change for people and communities. The Benevolent Society will partner with communities to co-design innovative solutions that address local child protection and wellbeing needs. These sustainable, place-based initiatives will build the capability of communities to support safety and wellbeing for every child.

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  • Priority 2: Drive action on child safeguarding across Australian businesses

Australian Childhood Foundation

The aim of the Australian Childhood Foundation is to protect children and restore childhood affected by violence and trauma through the power of love. In partnership with Y Australia (formerly YMCA Australia), they will use the funding to work with Australian business sectors such as telecommunications, travel and tourism, finance, and technology platforms to assess risks to children and young people and enact policies and practices to help enhance organisational child safeguarding.

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Research grants

Grants valued at $150,000 each, over up to two years, to support quality research and the development of new evidence-based approaches towards tackling the problem of child abuse, child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Institute of Child Protection Studies - Australian Catholic University

Research title: Advancing organisational child-safe practices using contextual safeguarding strategies

Partnering with national not-for-profit organisations, the research, conducted by the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ACU) and the Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit at the University of the Sunshine Coast, will use the Children’s Safety and Safeguarding Capabilities Surveys to evaluate current environmental and situational (i.e. contextual) prevention strategies being implemented in youth-serving social-welfare organisations to safeguard children from abuse. Contextual prevention strategies promote safety and address risks specific to the context of service delivery and can range from extended guardianship programs to the redesign of physical spaces to maximise supervision. Findings will inform national policy and strengthen child-safe organisational practices making these places safer for all those who encounter them, and to scale-up such activities nationally.

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Australian Human Rights Institute - University of New South Wales

Research title: Identifying and understanding Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE) practices and attitudes amongst Australian men

The research will bring together academic and practitioner expertise to undertake the first ever representative survey of OCSE perpetration and related behaviours and attitudes. The survey results will provide insights into the prevalence of OCSE behaviours, the demographics, typologies of OCSE perpetrators, and the attitudes and behaviours that increase its risk.

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Burnet Institute

Research title: Co-designing new technology interventions to prevent online sexual exploitation of children in families experiencing poverty

Using human-centred design, the research team will work with Australian families experiencing poverty to understand how technologies could fit in their lives and protect their children. Designers, public health researchers, and computer science experts will work with these families to generate new ideas, and design interventions that might be feasible, effective, and acceptable in prevention of sexual exploitation.

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Griffith Criminology Institute - Griffith University

Research title: Understanding wellbeing and desistance in young people treated for sexual offending

The research constitutes a first-of-its-kind 20 year follow up of a large sample of men who during adolescence received treatment following adjudication for a serious sexual offence. It will examine the broader aspects of this hard-to-reach group by focusing on the wellbeing, resilience, and desistance outcomes of intervention. 

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Education Futures - University of South Australia

Research title: Protecting children online - Investigation of suspects’ opening chat grooming language and interactions with police decoys

The research will use conversation analysis techniques to identify recurrent language and interactional behaviours that enable online predators to gain unacquainted children’s trust during opening chat sequences. By systematically documenting the persuasive online language of predators, this project can ultimately better protect children online by informing the early identification of online predators by police, educators, children, carers and other protective adults.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences University of Sydney

Research title: Dadirri and Placement Principles - creating safety for Indigenous children and young people

Using action research yarning circles, the research seeks to understand the cultural practices which can inform organisations and individuals capacity to better support Aboriginal children’s safety and identity. Research will be led by an Aboriginal researcher with 30 years personal and professional experience with the child protection system who will work collaboratively with an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation to develop, trial and evaluate new practices that support the aspirations of the NSW Placement Principles in Child Protection. 

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University of Sydney

Research title: Enhancing perpetrator accountability to disrupt trajectories of childhood harm

The research seeks to understand how perpetrator intervention systems can work together to prevent and respond to violence in collaboration with community-based services that work with perpetrators. Its aim is to build the capacity of policymakers, practitioners, and agencies (hospitals, allied and mental health, alcohol and other drugs, child protection, justice system) to create a ‘web of accountability’ required to change perpetrators' abusive patterns and disrupt trajectories of cumulative harm in childhood.

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Scale grants

Multi-year grants valued at $200,000 each per year over three years for existing evidence-based innovative programs looking to scale.

Caroline Chisholm Society

Caroline Chisholm works with at-risk women to keep families together and prevent the involvement of child protection services in the lives of women and their children. The Society has developed a maternal wrap around approach to work with at-risk women and children in Melbourne and is seeking to scale up this work as a demonstration project for the Shepparton and Goulburn Valley community. The aim is to reduce the number of babies and infants entering out of home care placements and improve early parenting outcomes for at-risk women.

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Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council

NPY Women’s Council is an Anangu led organisation that delivers heath, social and cultural services in the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) region of Central Australia. Their Walytjapiti program aims to support families who have children at risk of entering the child protection systems, in the Anangu communities of Northern Territory and South Australia, through working with existing strengths and support structures, to ensure the children’s needs are being met by family on country. This funding will enable the program to be scaled to families across the remote communities of the Ngaanyatjarra lands in WA. 

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Odyssey House Victoria

Odyssey House Victoria works with families experiencing domestic and family violence, substance misuse and mental health issues underpinned by intergenerational trauma and entrenched poverty. Agency staff report that up to 90% of female and 80% of male clients have experienced childhood sexual abuse. The funding will help scale Odyssey House Victoria’s existing ‘Kids in Focus’ program to better address intergenerational child sexual abuse in highly vulnerable families where there is parental alcohol and other drug use.

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TaskForce Community Agency

TaskForce exists for individuals and families in crisis seeking to break free from disadvantage, address challenges and realise opportunities for healthier lives, stronger relationships, and positive participation in their community. The Living Free Project, is a multi-layered partnership response connecting young girls with complex needs aged 10-17 in the Bayside Peninsula area of Victoria with the right support at the earliest possible time to achieve life changing outcomes. The funding will enhance their work in identifying and responding to young girls at risk of sexual exploitation, allowing them to directly support a greater number of girls identified as vulnerable to sexual exploitation. It will also help them to build the capacity of other organisations working with vulnerable girls to address risk factors and building protective factors so the girls are at a reduced risk for sexual exploitation.

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The University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle will use the funding to deliver Name.Narrate.Navigate. (NNN) and bring to scale learnings from its pilot through a practice pathways program. Name.Narrate. Navigate. is a trauma-informed and culturally responsive preventive-intervention program with a dual focus: working with young people who have used or who are at risk of using violence and working with those who support them. Grounded in principles of mindful engagement, reciprocal communication, validation of trauma and the use of creative, experiential learning, the program will assist participants to a point-of-readiness for targeted interventions. The scale up of Name.Narrate.Navigate. will focus on providing specialist training in program delivery to workers across regional, rural, and remote Australia where preventive interventions for young people who have been victims, survivors and perpetrators of harm are lacking but sorely needed.

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Prosper (Project Australia) - 50% grant

Prosper works to support disadvantaged children and families at home, at school and in the community. #StrongSafeFabulous is a community-led primary prevention initiative for LGBTIQA+ children and their families. The program is currently delivered in NSW and was developed as a partnership between Prosper (Project Australia) and Rainbow Families to prevent all forms of violence (including child abuse, domestic and family violence) against LGBTIQA+ children and their families, and against children living in LGBTIQA+ families. The funding will be used to scale and expand the program’s reach to every state and territory in Australia.

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Central West Women’s Health Centre - 50% grant

Central West Women’s Health Centre is a community based service, run by women for women and they provide a range of holistic women-centred preventative and treatment approaches to health and wellbeing. The funding will be used to deliver ‘Kids Matter’, a trauma-informed child and adolescent counselling program to disadvantaged children and adolescents aged 5-14 years, living in broader Bathurst and the Central West communities in NSW. This is a scale up of their existing Child and Adolescent Trauma Service, currently delivered in Kelso, Bathurst.

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Seed grants

One-off grants valued at $50,000 each for small to medium organisations working on new ideas or one-off initiatives.

Community Activities Lake Macquarie

Community Activities Lake Macquarie provides a range of services for families, children and the community. The funding will be used to develop resources such as videos, expert chats, fact sheets and Q&A polls to empower parents to have conversations with their child or young person about online pornography. 

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Far South Coast Family Support Service

Far South Coast Family Support Service provides services to families and children in the Bega Valley area. This funding will support the training of a staff member to become an accredited Play Therapist. Play Therapy is a structured and child-directed form of therapy that assists young clients to work through their experiences in a safe setting using toys and tools that are familiar to them. The therapist will be able to deliver this style of intervention to children in the Bega Valley aged 2-10 years old who have experienced sexual abuse and trauma. 

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Little Dreamers

Little Dreamers aim to create a community where young carers feel supported, valued and empowered. The Dreamers Hub E-Safety Program, in partnership with Elephant Ed, will feature a podcast, accompanying interactive online modules , dedicated forums, resources, expert guest contributors, and a social media campaign. The E-Safety Program will educate and empower Young Carers to be safer online, including content around risky behaviours, such as the distribution of intimate images, exposure to explicit imagery and sexual exploitation.

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Mettamorphosis Inc.

Mettamorphosis Inc. is a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation working towards the alleviation of the personal, social, institutional and educational adversity faced by young people from marginalised backgrounds. Their work is focused on promoting safety and wellbeing of children and young people. The funding will be used to deliver The Feeling Safe and Free initiative – a youth-centred and community-led project that engages with vulnerable young people from marginalised backgrounds in conversations about safe relationships in culturally safe ways. This project will allow young people to explore challenging but important issues around sex, sexual grooming, sexual harassment, pornography, coercive control, intimate abuse, and safe relationships.

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One Vision Productions

One Vision Productions collaborates with community based organisations and schools to provide educational, social and musical opportunities as well as industry relevant mentoring programs that empower at-risk youth to make positive life choices. Their MPOWER online platform is Australia’s largest mental health toolkit, with reporting and support technology for Australian youth who are at-risk or survivors of abuse. The funding will be used to finance the next phase of the MPOWER platform, the MPOWER App.

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Phoenix Support and Advocacy Service

Phoenix Support and Advocacy Services provide counselling and support to survivors of child sexual abuse, their friends, family and significant others. They will hold a series of events over the course of 12 months to raise awareness about children accessing pornography and the impacts this is having particularly with the increase in harmful sexualised behaviours. These community education events will ensure parents and professionals are informed about the problem and provided with tools on how to protect and respond.

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Rosie’s Place

Rosie’s Place is a counselling and support service for children, young people and families seeking freedom from violence. They will establish a website of resources that collectively target children and young people with intellectual disabilities, parents and carers, educators, disability workers and mainstream service providers. The material developed will be inclusive of the differing target groups and utilise visual coding (colours/symbols) to identify the main target group/s as well as opening invitations for others if applicable. 

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St Kilda Gatehouse

St Kilda Gatehouse provides spaces of belonging and safety for women involved in street-based sex work in St Kilda, and with young women and girls affected by sexual exploitation. The funding will be used to deliver The Young Women’s Project – an early-intervention school-based initiative aimed at young women, predominantly in years 7-10, who are at risk of sexual exploitation. The program seeks to help build awareness to overcome risk factors, address trauma, build resilience and provide emotional infrastructure to support the safety of young women.

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Transforming Justice Australia

Transforming Justice Australia is developing a survivor-oriented, restorative justice framework encompassing a suite of projects focussing on sexual violence and assault. In 2020, they were a recipient of a Safer Children, Safer Communities Impact Grant and used the funding to conduct a pilot. This year, they are looking to use the funding to expand the project from the development and consultation phase, into practice.

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The Trustee for the Cool Australia Trust

Cool Australia is a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting teachers with teaching tools, resources and professional development materials. In 2020, they were a recipient of a Safer Children, Safer Communities Impact Grant and developed online material relating to child sexual exploitation for parents and teachers. They will build on this work to develop scenario based support resources and a one-hour online course designed to facilitate constructive conversations between kids, teachers and parents/carers. 

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