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Ethical practice involving children (EPIC)

Project Details

Funding partner

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP180100465)


2018 - 2022


Robinson, S., Graham, A., Canosa, A., Moore, T., Taylor, N. & Boyle, T. (2022) Ethical practice in disability services: views of young people and staff. Ethics and Social Welfare

Powell, M.A., Graham, A., Canosa, A., Anderson,  D., Taylor, N. Robinson, S., Moore, T. & Thomas, N.P. (2020) Children and safety in Australian policy: Implications for organisations and practitioners. Australian Journal of Social Issues, DOI: 10.1002/ajs4.134

Powell, M.A., Graham, A., Canosa,   A., Anderson, D., Moore, T., Robinson, S., Thomas, N.P. & Taylor, N. (2020) Child safety in policy: Who is being kept safe and from what? Social Policy and Administration, early online 1-19 DOI: 10.1111/spol.12591

Phase 2 Summary


DCI researchers

Research partners

  • Southern Cross University Centre for Children and Young People – Professor Anne Graham (lead), Dr Antonia Canosa, Dr Tess Boyle, Dr Meaghan Vosz

  • University of South Australia Centre for Child Protection – Associate Professor Tim Moore

  • Charles Sturt University – Dr Donnah Anderson

  • University of Otago, New Zealand – Professor Nicola Taylor

  • University of Central Lancashire, UK – Professor Patrick Thomas


This research aims to strengthen knowledge, policy and practice concerning ‘child-safe’ organisations by examining the role of ethical practice in improving children and young people’s safety and wellbeing. Ethical understandings and practice are being explored in three institutional contexts – schools, residential care and disability services.

The project was undertaken in four phases:

  1. Policy analysis

  2. Interviews with children and young people; practitioners and managers

  3. Online survey

  4. Knowledge exchange


Beyond important and appropriate governance, policy and procedural responses, little is known about what constitutes ethical practice with children and young people, nor how this contributes to cultural conditions that promote their safety and wellbeing. This research seeks to address this gap and, in so doing, help Australia’s efforts at building and sustaining organisational cultures conducive to preventing, detecting and responding to poor treatment of children. The findings will help improve child safety in organisational settings in schools, out-of-home care (specifically residential care) and the disability sector.


An easy-read resource for this project is not currently available.

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