Active Research

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

    • Response to child sexual abuse
    Research Topic areas 
    • Domestic & family violence
    • Government & policy responses
    • Intersection with other violence/victimisation
    • Justice & legal responses
    • Mental health
    • Therapeutic responses
    Project Duration
    Start: October 2023
    End: February 2024
    Geographical Scope
    WA
    Populations
    Workforce
    Adults (26-65 years)
    Gender
    All genders

    Project Lead

    Dr James Herbert, Centre for Social Impact - UWA
    Project lead email: james.herbert@uwa.edu.au

    Project Team

    Background

    Holding multi-agency case review meetings is a common element of state responses to child abuse and neglect. While they are usually held to facilitate the exchange of information, most responses also assume that case review meetings enable more rapid decision-making, improved coordination of decision-making across agencies, and improved accountability across agencies. Responses also commonly assume that holding case review meetings between authorities results in improved decision-making, conceptualised as either improved identification and prediction of risk, more consistent responses across cases, or improved agreement between inter-agency colleagues. All of these conceptualisations assume that individuals change their perceptions as a result of these meetings.

    Aims

    Develop and pilot a multi-agency risk assessment tool to rate the perceived risk of abuse and recommended actions in response to a case.
    Develop a series of realistic case vignettes for participants to assess.
    Examine the effects of multi-agency deliberation on perceived risk and recommended actions in response to a series of case vignettes.
    Complete a jurisdictional scan of the process by which multi-agency case review meetings are held in Australian and Canadian jurisdictions.

    Methods

    A mixed methods approach was used, involving a pre-post quasi-experimental design to examine whether participating in a multi-agency case discussion changed perceptions of risk, and a qualitative analysis of the deliberation sessions and a series of follow-up interviews.

    Significance and Dissemination

    Most jurisdictions in Australia have a process of holding case review meetings between police, child protection, and health authorities. These meetings are the point at which critical decisions about a particular case are made, shared, and discussed between agencies. This research represents the first direct investigation of whether holding multi-agency deliberation changes perceptions of risk and recommended actions on a series of suspected child abuse case vignettes. Examining whether professionals change their minds as a result of what they hear from their colleagues at a multi-agency case review will create opportunities to better understand how these meetings work, and potentially identify how the structure of these meetings can facilitate more robust exchange and understanding between inter-agency colleagues. Having agencies work effectively together and responding to the case holistically is critical to children’s and families’ experiences of the response to suspected abuse and neglect. The study will include a review of how multi-agency case review meetings occur in a range of Australian and Canadian jurisdictions to assist jurisdictions with considering alternatives to their existing multi-agency process.

    Further Details

    Share project
    Funding body:
    Telethon 7 Trust (Western Australia)
    Australian Human Research Ethics Committee:
    University of South Australian Human Research Ethics Committee; Perth Children's Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee
    Understanding child sexual abuse

    Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)

    Graham Gee
    Murdoch Children's Research Institute
    Prevention of child sexual abuse

    Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program

    James Ogloff
    Swinburne University of Technology
    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

    Subscribe to
    news and updates

    Stay informed: Join our mailing list.

    Understanding child sexual abuse

    Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
    Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program
    Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)
    An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
    Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
    CHANGE – curtailing harm and navigating growth: evidence for change pathways of young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
    Amplifying the voices of victim-survivors: Advancing the harmful sexual behaviour evidence base – the Ava project
    Reshaping the Conversation: Development of a shared language and preferred definitions guide endorsed by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse
    Building a knowledge frame for responding to the needs of children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
    Children and Young People’s Safety Project
    Child safe practices using contextual safeguarding strategies
    The more I talk, the stronger I get: unlocking our past to free our future
    Delivering trauma-informed support for child sexual abuse victims in Victoria: mapping the knowledge gaps and training needs of the specialist sectors
    Online child sexual victimisation and associated mental health outcomes
    Differentiating adverse childhood experience profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

    Response to child sexual abuse

    Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
    Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program
    Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team
    Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)
    The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
    CHANGE – curtailing harm and navigating growth: evidence for change pathways of young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
    Improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending
    Into the war zone: disclosure and disbelief in the Family Court
    Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission
    Building trauma-responsive sexual health and relationship education
    Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse
    Amplifying the voices of victim-survivors: Advancing the harmful sexual behaviour evidence base – the Ava project
    The dignity by design project: survivor-led system redesign
    Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
    Community as experts: investigating the context, needs and help-seeking pathways for child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters in the NSW Bega Valley
    Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development
    Reshaping the Conversation: Development of a shared language and preferred definitions guide endorsed by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse
    Building a knowledge frame for responding to the needs of children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
    Australian Child Maltreatment Study
    Children and Young People’s Safety Project
    Child safe practices using contextual safeguarding strategies
    Enhancing the capacity of rural and regional respectful relationship educators
    Strengthening relationships and connections for young people in therapeutic residential care
    The safeguarding capability of adults in Catholic Church ministries: a global perspective
    Creating safer futures: raising public awareness of child sexual abuse among young adults through digital storytelling
    Survivor perspectives on institutional use of child sexual abuse material
    The more I talk, the stronger I get: unlocking our past to free our future
    Delivering trauma-informed support for child sexual abuse victims in Victoria: mapping the knowledge gaps and training needs of the specialist sectors
    Online child sexual victimisation and associated mental health outcomes
    Differentiating adverse childhood experience profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

    Needs of victims and survivors

    Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
    Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team
    The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
    An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
    Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
    Improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending
    Into the war zone: disclosure and disbelief in the Family Court
    Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission
    Building trauma-responsive sexual health and relationship education
    Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse
    Amplifying the voices of victim-survivors: Advancing the harmful sexual behaviour evidence base – the Ava project
    The dignity by design project: survivor-led system redesign
    Supporting continuous quality improvement in safeguarding at Hockey Australia and other national sporting organisations
    Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
    Community as experts: investigating the context, needs and help-seeking pathways for child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters in the NSW Bega Valley
    Enhancing the capacity of rural and regional respectful relationship educators
    Creating safer futures: raising public awareness of child sexual abuse among young adults through digital storytelling
    Survivor perspectives on institutional use of child sexual abuse material
    The more I talk, the stronger I get: unlocking our past to free our future

    Prevention of child sexual abuse

    Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
    Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program
    Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)
    The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
    An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
    CHANGE – curtailing harm and navigating growth: evidence for change pathways of young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
    Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
    Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development
    Building a knowledge frame for responding to the needs of children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
    Australian Child Maltreatment Study
    Strengthening relationships and connections for young people in therapeutic residential care
    Differentiating adverse childhood experience profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

    Identification of child sexual abuse

    The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
    An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
    Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
    Supporting continuous quality improvement in safeguarding at Hockey Australia and other national sporting organisations
    Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
    Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development
    Children and Young People’s Safety Project
    The safeguarding capability of adults in Catholic Church ministries: a global perspective

    Disclosure of child sexual abuse

    Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
    The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
    An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
    Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
    Improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending
    Into the war zone: disclosure and disbelief in the Family Court
    Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission
    Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse
    Supporting continuous quality improvement in safeguarding at Hockey Australia and other national sporting organisations
    Community as experts: investigating the context, needs and help-seeking pathways for child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters in the NSW Bega Valley