Staff Directory

Professor Daryl Higgins Name: Professor Daryl Higgins
Professor and Director, Institute of Child Protection Studies
Email
daryl.higgins@acu.edu.au
Phone
+613 9953 3607
Organisational Area
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Coordination)
Department
Institute of Child Protection Studies
Location
Melbourne
Building 461 - 232 Victoria Parade (232 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002)-Level 1-Room 461.1.10
Biographical Information

Professor Daryl Higgins commenced as the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies in February 2017. His research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, Prof Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for 25 years.

 

Prior to joining ACU, Prof Higgins was the Deputy Director (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, where he had responsibility for the research program, knowledge translation and exchange functions focusing on issues affecting families in Australia.

 

Prof Higgins has contributed to over 240 publicationS (including 75 peer-review journal articles) and more than 400 presentations and media engagements. He has extensive experience in managing and supervising research, and has led projects looking at child abuse and neglect, child protection, children in out-of-home care, child-safe organisations, family law and allegations of child abuse, disability and family care, welfare reform, family and interpersonal violence, jobless families, past adoption and forced family separation practices, and community development approaches to child and family welfare issues.

 

He is one of the Chief Investigators in an National Health and Medical Research Council, Project Grant (APP1158750), 2019-2023 (funded amount: $2,311,217.00) to conduct the first national study of child abuse and neglect in Australia: prevalence, health outcomes, and burden of disease. The team of international investigators is led by QUT.

Publications

ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0268-8243
SCOPUS Author ID: 7202960352

Selected Publications (2012 - Present)

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Russell, D., Higgins, D., & Posso, A. (2020). Preventing child sexual abuse: A systematic review of interventions and their efficacy in developing countries. Child Abuse & Neglect, 102. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0145213420300508

Herrenkohl, T., Lonne, B., Higgins, D., & Scott, D. (2019). Ensuring the personal security of children demands bold system reform. International Journal on Child Maltreatment.

Lonne, B., Higgins, D., Herrenkohl, T., & Scott, D. (2019). Reconstructing the workforce within public health protective systems: Improving resilience, retention, service responsiveness and outcomes. Child Abuse & Neglect. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104191

Russell, D., & Higgins, D. (2019). Safeguarding capabilities in preventing child sexual abuse: A scale measuring knowledge, attitudes and skills applicable to all youth-serving sectors. Child Maltreatment. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559519870253

Sanders, M. R., Higgins, D. J., & Prinz, R J. (2018). A population approach to the prevention of child maltreatment: Rationale and implications for research, policy, and practice. Family Matters, 100, 62-70.

Higgins, D. J. (2018). Capability, treatment services and prevention strategies: Implications of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for the role of Psychologists. InPsych, 40(2).

Doidge, J. C., Higgins, D., Delfabbro, P., Edwards, B., Vassallo, S., Toumbourou, J. W., & Segal, L. (2017). Economic predictors of child maltreatment in an Australian population-based birth cohort. Children and Youth Service Review, 72, 14-25.

Doidge, J. C., Higgins, D., Delfabbro, P., & Segal, L. (2017). Risk factors for child maltreatment in an Australian population-based birth cohort. Child Abuse & Neglect, 64, 47-60.

Herrenkohl, T. I., Leeb, R. T., & Higgins, D. J. (2016). The Public Health Model of Child Maltreatment Prevention [Introduction to the Special Issue of Trauma, Violence, & Abuse]. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 17(4), 363-365.

Higgins, D. J., Kaufman, K., & Erooga, M. (2016). How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe? Developing Practice: The Child Youth and Family Work Journal, 44, 48-64.

Scott, D. A., Lonne, B., & Higgins, D. (2016). Public health models for preventing child maltreatment: Applications from the field of injury prevention. Trauma Violence & Abuse [Special Edition on Public Health Approaches to Child Maltreatment Prevention], 17(4), 408-419.

Wall, L., Higgins, D., Hunter, C. (2016). Trauma-informed care in child/family welfare services. CFCA Information Exchange Paper no. 37. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Herrenkohl, T. I., Higgins, D. J., Merrick, M. T., & Leeb, R. T. (2015). Positioning a public health framework at the intersection of child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. Child Abuse & Neglect [Directions], 48, 22-28.

Higgins, D. J. (2015). A public health approach to enhancing safe and supportive family environments for children. Family Matters, 96, 39-52.

Higgins, D. J. (2014). Past adoption practices: Implications for current interventions. InPsych: The bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 36(4), 8-11.

Higgins, D. & Davis, K. (2014). Law and justice: Prevention and early intervention programs for Indigenous youth. Resource sheet no. 34. Produced by the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. & Morley, S. (2014). Engaging Indigenous parents in their children&rsquos education. Resource sheet no. 32. Produced by the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., Higgins, D., Sweid, R., & Soloff, C. (2013). Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice. Communities, Children and Families Australia, 7(1), 35-46.

Price-Robertson, R., Higgins, D., & Vassallo, S. (2013). Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation: A comparison of two research frameworks. Family Matters, 93, 84-98.

Price-Robertson, R., Rush, P., Wall, L., & Higgins, D. (2013). Rarely an isolated incident: Acknowledging the interrelatedness of child maltreatment, victimization and trauma. CFCA Paper no. 15. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Robinson, E., Scott, D., Meredith, V., Nair, L., & Higgins, D. (2012). Good and innovative practice in service delivery to vulnerable and disadvantaged families and children. CFCA Information Exchange. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Scott, D., Higgins, D., & Franklin, R. (2012). The role of supervisory neglect in childhood injury. CFCA Information Exchange. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Books and book chapters

Lonne, B., Scott, D., Higgins, D., & Herrenkohl, T. (Eds.) (2019). Re-visioning public health approaches for protecting children. Child Maltreatment 9: Contemporary Issues in Research and Policy Series. Springer.

Higgins, D., & Moore, T. (2019). Keeping an eye on sex, power, relationships and institutional contexts in prevention institutional child sexual abuse. In I. Bryce, Y. Robinson, & W. Petherick (2018). Child abuse and neglect: Forensic issues in evidence, impact and management (Ch. 3), (pp. 45-62). London: Elsevier. https://www.elsevier.com/books/child-abuse-and-neglect/bryce/978-0-12-815344-4

Smyth, B., Hunter, C., Macvean, M., Walter, M., & Higgins, D. (2018). Education for family life in Australia. In M. Robila & A. Taylor (Eds.), Global perspectives on family life education, pp. 93-113. Springer: NY. Available at:

Bromfield, L., Arney, F., & Higgins, D. (2014). Contemporary issues in child protection intake, referral and family support. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia, pp. 121-129. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Hayes, A., & Higgins, D. (2014). Complex family issues: Collective awareness, common narratives and coordinated approaches to promoting resilience. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia, pp. 299-303. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Hayes, A., & Higgins, D. (Eds.) (2014). Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. [308 pp].

Hayes, A., & Higgins, D. (2014). Weaving a common narrative: An introduction to essays on families, policy and the law in Australia. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia, pp. 1-4. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., & Higgins, D. (2014). Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia, pp. 29-38. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. J. (2013). Reform, (r)evolution and lingering effects: Family policies in Australia. In M. Robila (Ed.). Handbook of family policies around the globe (pp. 335-353). New York: Springer.

Scott, D., & Higgins, D. J. (2012). Child abuse and neglect in Australia&rsquos Northern Territory: The Northern Territory Emergency Response. In H. Dubowitz (ed.) ISPCAN World Perspectives (Tenth Edition) (pp. 69-75). International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN).

Research reports

Trew, S., Russell, D. H., & Higgins, D. (2020). Effective interventions to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviours among children in contact with child protection and out-of-home care systems &ndash a rapid evidence review. Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University.

Muth, P., Higgins, D., Khor, S., McDougall, J., Robinson, G., & Lau, M. (June 2020). Child Abuse Royal Commission Evaluation Framework: For review of implementation of Child Abuse Royal Commission Final Report recommendations [A report to the Australian Government Attorney General&rsquos Department]. Melbourne: Social Research Centre.

Higgins, D., Stewart, J., Cahill, A., McDougall, J., & Medvedeva, A. (2020). Catholic Safeguarding Australia: A national office for oversight and coordination of safeguarding and professional standards for the Catholic Church in Australia (A report to the Safeguarding Steering Committee of the Australian Episcopal Conference of the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic Religious Australia). Canberra: ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies.

Cahill, A., Stewart, J., & Higgins, D. (2019). Service system responses to the needs of children to keep them safe from violence. Melbourne: Australian Catholic University, Institute of Child Protection Studies.

Trew, S., Stewart, J., Thorpe, R., Tewson, A., & Higgins, D. (2018). Family Foundations outcome evaluation. Melbourne: Australian Catholic University, Institute of Child Protection Studies. https://www.acu.edu.au/-/media/feature/pagecontent/richtext/about-acu/institutes-academies-and-centres/icps/_docs/family-foundations-outcome-evaluation-report-final-20190306.pdf

Cahill, A., & Higgins, D. (2018). Our goal: A consultation manual for working with children and young people on the development of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards. Melbourne: Australian Catholic University, Institute of Child Protection Studies.

Healing Foundation with Adams, M., Bani, G., Blagg, H., Bullman, J., Higgins, D., Hodges, B., Hovane, V., Martin-Pederson, M., Porter, A., Sarra, G., Thorpe, A., & Wenitong, M. (2017). Towards an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander violence prevention framework for men and boys. The Healing Foundation and White Ribbon Australia: Canberra. https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/HF_Violence_Prevention_Framework_Report_Oct2017_V9_WEB.pdf

Scott, D., Rushton, S., Fong, M., & Higgins, D. (2017). Cradle to Kinder: Evaluation of early implementation findings from the Victorian Cradle to Kinder Program 2013&ndash15. A report to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Evaluation Summary [via &ldquoRelated Resources&rdquo]: http://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/family-and-parenting-support

Kaufman, K. L., Erooga, M., with Stewart, K., Zatkin, J., McConnell, E., Tews, H., & Higgins, D. (2016). Risk profiles for institutional child sexual abuse: A literature review. Sydney: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Scott, D., Rushton, S., Fong, M., & Higgins, D. (2016). Cradle to Kinder: Evaluation of early implementation findings from the Victorian Cradle to Kinder Program 2013&ndash15. A report to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Mathews, B., Walsh, K., Dunne, M., Katz, I., Arney, F., Higgins, D., Octoman, O., Parkinson, S., & Bates, S. (2015). Scoping study for research into the prevalence of child abuse in Australia: Report to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia in partnership with Australian Institute of Family Studies, Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Centre for Child Protection (University of South Australia).

Kenny, P., & Higgins, D. (2015). National Practice Standards for Australian Government funded Forced Adoption Support Services: Discussion Paper. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., & Higgins, D., & Morley, S. (2015). Good practice principles in providing services to those affected by forced adoption and family separation. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., Morley, S., & Higgins, D. (2015). Forced Adoption Support Services: Establishing and building networks. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Mathews, B., Walsh, K., Dunne, M., Katz, I., Arney, F., Higgins, D., Octoman, O., Parkinson, S., & Bates, S. (2015). Scoping study for research into prevalence of child sexual abuse in Australia. Sydney: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Sydney.

Quadara, A., Nagy, V., Higgins, D., & Siegel, N. (2015). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse [Research Report No. 33]. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Wall, L., Scott, D., Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Quadara, A, Perriman, A., & Higgins, D. (2015). Evaluation of the co-located child protection practitioner initiative: A report to the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Edwards, B., Mullan, K., Katz, I., & Higgins, D. (2014, September). The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Phase 2. Research Report No. 29.  Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D., Kenny, P., Sweid, R., & Ockenden, L. (2014). Forced Adoption Support Services Scoping Study: Report for the Department of Social Services by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Mathews, T., Scott, D., Hand, K., Higgins, D., McHugh-Dillon, H., & Heery, L. (2014, June). The Evaluation of the Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Programs: Interim Evaluation Report. [A report to the Victorian Government Department of Human Services]. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies & Murdoch Children&rsquos Research Institute.

Mullan, K., & Higgins, D. (2014). A safe and supportive family environment for children: Key components and links to child outcomes. DSS Occasional Paper. Canberra: Department of Social Services.

Stewart, J., Hedwards, B., Richards, K., Willis, M., & Higgins, D. (2014). Indigenous Youth Justice Programs Evaluation. A report to the Commonwealth Attorney-General&rsquos Department. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

Edwards, B., Mullan, K., Katz, I., & Higgins, D. (2013, May). The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Stage 2. A report prepared for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).  Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Quadara, A., Higgins, D., Nagy, V., Lykhina, A., & Wall, L. (2013, May). Therapeutic needs of adult survivors of child sexual abuse: Implications for service provision. Report to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D., Scott, D., & Robinson, E. (2012). Part C &ndash Consultation with VADCAS Providers: Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Client Access Strategy. A report to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., Higgins, D., Soloff, C., & Sweid, R. (2012). Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices. Research Report No. 21. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Price-Robertson, R., Higgins, D., & Meredith, V. (2012). Evaluation of the All Children Being Safe Tamworth Pilot. A report to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Non-refereed publications

Higgins, D. (2017, June). Can early childhood environmental factors help predict child maltreatment? CFCA Connect. Available at: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/

Qu, L., Knight, K., & Higgins, D. J. (2016). Same-sex couple families in Australia: Fact Sheet, September 2016. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2014). Contemplating contemporary challenges in family life. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2014). Safe and Supportive Family Environments. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. J. (2013). Child protection information, statistics and data management. In Child Protection Conference 2012: Enhancing capacity and strategic service delivery within a national and regional context. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (20-22 November 2012), pp. 54-55.

Higgins, D. (2013). Corporal punishment of children: Changing attitudes? Laws? Or both&hellip CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2013). Peer sexual assault. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2013). Pre-employment screening: Working With Children Checks and Police Checks. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Quadara, A., Higgins, D., Nagy, V., Lykhina, A., & Wall, L. (2013). Child sexual abuse: Summary of adult survivors&rsquo therapeutic needs. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2012). AIFS research directions 2012-15: Australian families in a rapidly changing world. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Baxter, J., Higgins, D., & Hayes, A. (2012). Families make all the difference: Helping kids to grow and learn. Facts Sheet. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2012). Adoption: Past policy, reform, and its lingering effects. Australian Social Policy Association Newsletter.

Higgins, D. J. (2012). Past and present Adoptions in Australia: Fact sheet. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2012, Sept 7). Supporting parents the biggest priority. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Higgins, D. (2012). The role of supervisory neglect in childhood injury. CFCA Connect. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Research

 

Prof Higgins is a Chief Investigator on the first national study of child abuse and neglect in Australia: prevalence, health outcomes, and burden of disease. It is funded by the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council, Project Grant (APP1158750), 2019-2023. Funded amount: $2,311,217.00. Chief Investigators: Professor Ben Mathews (QUT), Dr Rosana Pacella (University of Chichester), Professor Michael Dunne (QUT), Associate Professor James Scott (UQ), Professor David Finkelhor (University of New Hampshire), Professor Franziska Meinck (University of Oxford), Professor Daryl Higgins (Australian Catholic University), Dr Holly Erskine (UQ), and Dr Hannah Thomas (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research). 

 

Additional funding has also been secured from the National Office for Child Safety: $310,000

Experience

I have a PhD from Deakin University (awarded in 1999). I am a Registered Psychologist, and member of the Australian Psychological Society. My formal training in psychology has also been supplemented by my studies in sociological aspects of history (as part of my BA at Melbourne University, where I majored in History). My current research interests cross the discipline boundaries of psychology, criminology, sociology, social work, and public health.

I was a senior manager in the Commonwealth public service for more than 12 years &ndash arriving in August 2004 at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS). I was initially manager of the National Child Protection Clearinghouse. Then from October 2005, I had responsibility as General Manager for a range of research projects and knowledge translation and exchange services to inform policy and practice across a spectrum of child/family welfare areas, as well as leadership and strategic management responsibilities across the Institute.

I was Deputy Director (Research) at AIFS from March 2011 to February 2017, with responsibility for the Institute&rsquos research projects and research communication outputs across a broad range of topic areas relating to families, including: family relationships social and economic participation and child and family wellbeing.

In February 2017, I was appointed Professor and Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS), a nationally recognised centre of research excellence in the field of child, youth and family welfare at the Australian Catholic University, Faculty of Health Sciences.

Research&mdashin order to understand, and improve the circumstances of vulnerable children, young people and their families&mdashhas been my passion for about 25 years. As an academic in psychology, and then a senior manager at AIFS, and now leading a research institute at ACU, I have contributed to over 200 publications (including more than 75 peer-review articles and reports), and over 350 presentations and media engagements. I have led innovative knowledge translation/exchange functions that have increased access to the evidence-base for policy makers and practitioners working to protect children and promote family and community wellbeing.

Professional Memberships

Registered Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (PSY0001121396)

Member, Australian Psychological Society, from Feb 2004

 

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