Preventing abuse and promoting personal safety in children and young people with disability

The Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University project will develop an in-depth understanding of what helps children and young people with disability to feel and be safe. This work will help to address the higher risks of harm, as children with disability are three times more likely to experience harassment, abuse and assault compared to children without disability.

The research will be conducted through an embedded ethics approach using mixed methods. Extensive qualitative research will be undertaken through interviews and focus groups with children and adults with disability, and key institution providers. Intensive work using creative research techniques will enable children and young people with significant support needs, who are a rarely heard group, to participate in the study. Findings from the qualitative work will then be further explored through a survey of approximately 500 children and young adults with disability and the people that support them.

Preventing abuse of people with disability is critical to the success of both national and state disability and child protection policy. The research will support the development of policy and practice to recognise incoming models of support for children and young people with disability in both specialist disability and mainstream systems.

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