Active Research

Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development

    • Prevention of child sexual abuse
    • Identification of child sexual abuse
    • Response to child sexual abuse
Research Topic areas 
  • Government & policy responses
  • Institutional abuse
Project Duration
Start: July 2023
End: September 2024
Geographical Scope
Young adults (18-25 years)Adults (25-65 years)Older adults (>65 years)
All genders

Project Lead

Fiona Boyle, Kooyoora Ltd
Project lead email:

Project Team

Anna Doganieri, Kooyoora Ltd
Laura Lindsay, GlassHouse Safeguarding
Jacqui Stewart, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University
Angie Mucillo, Kooyoora Ltd


The cultural, operational and environmental factors of institutions can affect the likelihood of children being sexually abused and the prospect that abuse will be identified, reported and responded to appropriately. The path to creating child safe cultures can be complex and daunting. Many standards and resources exist, but there is currently no comprehensive, guided approach to long term culture change.


This project will develop a framework for cultural change that includes a quality improvement model with four distinct steps: development of Psychological Safety Principles; assessment against those Principles; identifying key areas for improvement; and implementing a Cultural and Systemic Improvement Plan with support provided through professional development modules.


In developing the Framework, this project will be guided by meta-analysis and stakeholder consultations, focusing on lived experience of institutional cultures to assist in understanding systems that need to change to enhance and create safety, cultural safety, abuse prevention strategies, system and culture change strategies and frameworks, self-assessment frameworks and organisational development programs.

Significance and Dissemination

This project will assist organisations to identify cultural barriers to timely identification of child sexual abuse and identify a plan for effecting organisational change that will lead to better protection of, and responses to, children, young people and adults. Through cultural change, organisations will be better equipped to respond to allegations of abuse and prevent future abuse.

Further Details

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Funding body:
The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse
Funding budget:
$35,000 grant
Monitoring and governance:
This project is guided by oversight of the Project Advisory Group and organisational governance of Kooyoora
Response to child sexual abuse

Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team

James Herbert
Centre for Social Impact - University of South Australia
David O'Shaughnessy
University of Western Australia
Understanding child sexual abuse

Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)

Jonah Rimer
The University of Queensland
Response to child sexual abuse

Effect of multi-agency deliberation on perceptions of risk in responses to child abuse and neglect

James Herbert
Centre for Social Impact - UWA

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