Amy Cleland, PhD Scholar

Title: Laws that Colonise: Aboriginal Children, Child Protection and the Australian Legal System
"It’s a privilege to undertake my PhD with the ACCP, along with the opportunity to partner with the Department for Child Protection. My thesis aims to address the increasing over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system, through an analysis of the South Australian situation and the legal and social work practice stories that accompany the statistics. These stories will inform best practice in the sector in relation to effectively applying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principles. The project will consolidate an understanding of the Australian legal system’s governance of relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and the State and Commonwealth child protection laws and policies."

Rachel Lever, PhD Scholar

Title: Children’s Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviours: A case study to identify and address Australia Police and Youth Justice System responses, attitudes, and diversionary approaches.
“Being able to pursue my PhD with the ACCP is an absolute privilege, being surrounded by passionate and driven child protection researchers and practitioners will be imperative to implementing my research to allow for contribution of improved outcomes for those children that need it most".

Victoria Parsons, PhD Scholar

Victoria ParsonsWorking Title: The general public's knowledge and beliefs about child sexual abuse
“Undertaking my PhD at the ACCP has been a great start to a lifetime career of making the world safer for children by preventing sexual abuse. At the ACCP, I have gained a strong grounding in child sexual abuse theory and empirical evidence, qualitative methodologies, and theory of psychometric instrument creation and validation. I have also had the opportunity to work on other related projects that have given me an understanding of intervention evaluation and I have access to the collective knowledge of a wide range of supportive staff, including my supervisory panel.”

Sarah Seekamp, PhD Scholar

Sarah Seekamp

Title: Exploring child and family focused outcomes to enhance interprofessional collaboration for children who have experienced or are at risk of abuse or neglect.
“Completing my thesis with the ACCP provides me an invaluable opportunity to undertake research that aims to enhance interprofessional collaboration to improve outcomes for children and families known to child protection. Specifically, my research aims to critically explore child and family focused outcomes shared by child protection and family support services in their work with children and families. Further my research aims to identify the inter-professional practices that are intended to support attainment of these common outcomes for children and families. I also hope that my PhD equips me to strengthen interprofessional education within the UniSA as it relates to supporting young children who have experienced maltreatment."

Ebony Tucker, PhD Scholar

Title: Improving the process and long-term outcomes of reunification for families: Exploring the barriers and facilitators for successful and safe reunification
"In pursuing my PhD with the ACCP, I have received the invaluable opportunity to contribute to critical child protection research that serves to improve the outcomes of those children and families who are most at risk. Specifically, my research aims to enhance the process and long-term outcomes for reunified families by exploring the environmental, social, and psychological barriers and facilitators to successful and safe long-term reunification. Being alongside a passionate team of child protection researchers who hold extensive academic and industry experience will be an indispensable element in the ability of my research to inform reunification policy and practice."

Miranda Willet, PhD Scholar

Title: Understanding Regulation Needs to Facilitate Therapeutic Management of Externalising Behaviours in Residential Care
Miranda is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in intervention for children aged 0-18, who have experienced abuse and neglect, and their caregivers. She joined the Australian Centre for Child Protection in June 2022, in the hope of expanding her scope of impact to systemic issues that affect the young people that she works with. Her PhD will focus on young people in the residential care setting.

Rosa Flaherty, PhD Scholar - Conferred, 1 March 2022

Rosa Flaherty

Title: Pre-birth statutory child protection concerns: the characteristics of women and experiences of women and service providers
"Doing my thesis through the Centre was an excellent choice because it is an engine room of enthusiastic child-focused, family-centred researchers who bring a diverse range of industry experience to their thinking. These attributes are invaluable to me, during my exploration of the support offered to at-risk pregnant women and their unborn babies, as this is a sensitive and complex topic to research."