• Speaking up and being heard: how do we listen and respond to children’s experiences, needs and hopes?

    How can we ensure we hear directly from children so we know how they are feeling, what support they need, and with what they are struggling? In today's blog entry Nicola Palfrey, Director at Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network, explores strategies children find themselves experiencing when dealing with trauma, and how important it is for us to listen to their needs so we can provide them with proper support. 

  • Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future

    Healing the Past

    A new Aboriginal-led project aims to learn how to identify and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who have experienced complex trauma in their own childhoods. 

  • Increasing child participation in community contexts

    Children are vulnerable in communities that do not listen to them, that do not value their voice or opinions, that do not conceive of children as having the capacity to meaningfully contribute to society. Vulnerable, because these attitudes or cultural approaches mean that they can be overlooked, minimised or left unheard or unbelieved.

  • Changes to Child Safe Legislation in Victoria

    Amendments to the Child Well-being and Safety Act came into effect on the 27th February 2018, and are designed to clarify the operation of the Reportable Conduct Scheme and Child Safe Standards.

  • How do you find your way to your child's heart?

    The heart has become an important and central symbol in the Foundation’s new narrative. It represents the power of love to heal the pain that children carry with them when they have experienced the trauma of abuse and family violence. It has reminded me of how important a heart and its meaning can be in our therapeutic work with children, young people and their carers/families. 

  • Western Australia's- 9 Child Safe Domains

    A discussion of the nine domains, the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People thought pertinent to guide organisations in moving towards creating and sustaining a safe space for children and young people.

  • I killed my fish

    As a Child Psychologist working with traumatised children, I hear a lot of stories, some of which are sad or cruel, some unbelievable or amazing. These stories provide me some insight in the different ways these children experience the world. It is my challenge to unravel the story and try and discover the key to why this story is so upsetting or overwhelming to them. Sometimes that leads to an unexpected outcome.
  • Permanency and Stability in Out of Home Care

    We recently had the opportunity to submit to the Victorian Enquiry into the Implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Amendments (Permanent Care and Other Matters) ACT 2014 (Permanency Amendment Inquiry). In the submission, we highlighted our experience working with children placed in Out of Home Care in Victoria, as well as our strongly held belief that permanence promotes stability. 


  • A Modality with a Difference

    Do you have clients whom you have spent a long time working with to address their traumatic experiences but somehow changing their cognitions is not fully resolving the issue? Following her recent webinar on the topic of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy®, Pauline Lodge here shares her perception of what makes this modality different when working with survivors of abuse. 

  • Child abuse and suicide: a harmful correlation - Part 2

    Part 2 in the series looking at the strong correlation between suicide and early childhood sexual assault.  We thought we’d take the opportunity over two blog posts, to discuss the research literature and then share some ideas about how we might contribute to better work with this vulnerable population.

  • Child abuse and suicide: a harmful correlation - Part 1

    In our practice experience and in the research, there is little doubt that there is a strong correlation between suicide and early childhood sexual assault, in particular that perpetrated by members of an individual’s family.  We thought we’d take the opportunity over two blog posts, to discuss the research literature and then share some ideas about how we might contribute to better work with this vulnerable population.
  • Youth and Porn - Sensational to Developmental

    porn youth problem sexual behaviour australian childhood foundation Russell Pratt, Statewide Principal Practitioner, Office of Professional Practice, Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria, and Cyra Fernandes, Team Leader, Child and Family Counselling Program, Child Trauma Service share their insight and perspectives on young people exposed to porn: Why we should move from the sensational to the developmental.
  • Think before you post! Reducing the risk when posting pics of kids online.

    Many children under the age of nine were born with a digital footprint in existence before they even left the womb.  These children inherit their digital profiles as a work in progress from a parent - who may or may not understand the dangers and vulnerabilities that such a profile can create. Here, Australian cyber security expert Susan McLean shares her cautions and recommendations with those who work with children and families.

  • Changes to NSW Child Protection Legislation

    On 2 November 2015, The NSW Government introduced reforms to strengthen the protection of children, particularly in situations where they are not in the care of their parents or families. These changes have been made under the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2015 and affect all employers and organisations providing child-related services with roles that require a Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance.   A summary of the changes, as provided by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian can be found in this blog entry.  

  • Don Dale : Beyond Anger

    Reflecting on 'Australia's Shame' and the outrage that has followed the airing of the Four Corners episode, Lauren Thomas considers what we as a group of professionals working with vulnerable children can do.

  • Where is Article 12?

    Knowledge in the field of neurobiology has dramatically changed therapeutic work with trauma.  But does this focus also contribute to a bio-medical model of work that can lead to a breach in children's rights? Where children’s trauma is more likely to be managed medically rather than in an engaged manner with their ability to share their own experience and have input into therapeutic process? Here Mary Jo McVeigh considers the place of human rights in the trauma therapeutic discourse. 

  • Why being trauma informed matters beyond trauma

    Prosody Blog Melissa Raine

    Dr Melissa Raine considers how Australian culture understands children, how trauma informed responses might impact work with all children, and how the discussion is pertinent to a forthcoming symposium on 'Children's Voices in Contemporary Australia'.

  • #childtrauma2016 CEO reflections - Day 5 & Beyond

    Last week we hosted the 2016 International Childhood Trauma Conference, each day a member of our ACF team shared their reflections from the day at conference.  For day 5, and beyond, our CEO Dr Joe Tucci considers what we have learnt, and what it might mean for children in Australia.

  • #childtrauma2016 reflections - Day 4 - Marina Dickson

    Each day of the 2016 International Childhood Trauma Conference, a member of our ACF team will be sharing reflections from their time at conference.  For day 4, Program Manager Vocational Training and Education, Marina Dickson discusses how 'chronic small events accumulate to big effects'.

  • #childtrauma2016 reflections - Day 3 - Lisa Ranahan

    Each day of the 2016 International Childhood Trauma Conference, a member of our ACF team will be sharing reflections from their time at conference.  For day 3, Program Manager for Therapeutic Care, Lisa Ranahan considers the range of key messages that stood out for her. 

  • #childtrauma2016 reflections - Day 2 - Noel MacNamara

    Each day of the 2016 International Childhood Trauma Conference, a member of our ACF team will be sharing reflections from their time at conference.  For day 2, our National Manager of Research and Policy, Noel MacNamara reflects on his own experience.

  • #childtrauma2016 reflections - Day 1 - Janise Mitchell

    Each day of the 2016 International Childhood Trauma Conference, a member of our ACF team will be sharing reflections from their time at conference.  For day 1, our Deputy CEO and Conference Co-Convenor Janise Mitchell discusses the thoughts arising from her time in Professor Michael Yellow Bird's masterclass.

  • Child Safe Standards - Victoria

    The Victorian Government is introducing compulsory child safe Standards for organisations that work with children. The Standards will support organisations to protect children from abuse and exploitation by their staff and volunteers.

  • Assessment Part 4

    The fourth article in this series of articles on assessment, here we examine how to conceptualise and assess the needs of children and families as it related to case planning and intervention.

  • Practice Leadership - Part 2

    The second in a two part series on Practice Leadership written by Deputy CEO Janise Mitchell.  This entry particularly looks at what a Practice Leader does.

  • Developmental Trauma Informed Maps... Why do we need them?

    What is a Developmental Trauma Informed Map? This grandly titled document actually asks participants to articulate the core messages of this body of knowledge and think about how it can underpin practice on a daily basis. Marina Dickson explains more...

  • Practice Leadership - Part 1

    This is the first in a two part series on Practice Leadership written by Deputy CEO Janise Mitchell.  This entry particularly looks at what a Practice Leader is in the context of Child Protection. 

  • Child Centred Practice Part 4

    In this, the fourth article in our series, we will look at why an understanding of child development is important to organisations aiming to be child centred in their delivery.

  • Child Centred Practice - Part 3

    In today’s post, the third in our series on Child Centred Practice, we will look at what it means not only to listen to children but also to prioritise the voice of the child.
  • The Butterfly

    A beautiful story of change and transformation using metaphor in therapy. 

  • Lessons from the Royal Commission Part 3

    In part 3 of our series looking at lessons from the Royal Commission thus far, we outline some of the important insights in relation to child safe recruitment, monitoring and screening processes. This post shares practical examples of the kinds of questions to ask in the recruitment process.

  • What does it mean to be Child Centred? Part 2

    This post is the second in our series looking at Child Centred Practice, exploring the first of four principles of child centred practice that can inform policies, processes and actions: Recognising Critical Timeframes. 


  • What does it mean to be Child Centred?

    Anyone who has worked with children in a professional setting will likely have heard the term ‘child-centred’ used to describe an approach, a policy or a way of working with children. It is written into legislation around Australia and seen as a desirable way of approaching child protection by many.  Some organisations – like the Foundation – also describe themselves as being child-centred as a central principle informing all that they do.  But what does it mean?

  • Raunch Culture

    As a parent, there is always that one question from your child that you struggle to answer. I never would have predicted the one that finally stumped me when it was asked by my 4 year old son at the time. With both of his Italian grandparents in the car, he asked me innocently and loudly - “Dad, how do you make your sex last longer?”

  • The Uncertainty of Child Protection

    Child protection is a minefield of impossible decisions. Children live with the consequences of each judgement, each choice. Here, Joe Tucci looks at the difficulties of working within and alongside Child Protection, calling for support as well as scrutiny for its workers.

  • Lessons from the Royal Commission Part 2

    In part 2 of our series looking at lessons from the Royal Commission thus far, we outline some of the important insights in relation to the nature and prevalence of child sexual abuse; perpetrators and organisational awareness of abuse.

  • What if the world hurts?

    What if your teacher’s voice feels like a dentist drill? What if the walls of your classroom feel like they are crowded and moving? What if the seam on your sock drives you to distraction and makes it almost impossible to listen to what is being said to you? Beth Guy looks at the topic of sensory defensiveness and what it means for children and young people as well as those who support them.

  • Leaves of Hope

    Perhaps you have asked yourself how you might impart hope with your clients? An outcome of change for children, bringing with it possibilities for fun, enthusiasm and optimism, it is possibly also something we struggle to pinpoint for ourselves as we journey with clients. 

    In this blog entry, Lauren Thomas shares a story of hope found in the recovery process of a young person we've worked with.

  • Changes in child protection law - what you need to know

    Our work with the Safeguarding Children Program sees us connecting with a wide variety of organisations around Australia who are working with children and young people.  One issue that proves tricky for many, is the constantly changing legislative landscape.  We thought we might use this post to bring you up to date with some of the new laws in Victoria that affect ALL ADULTS in Victoria. We will look at other states and territories in subsequent posts.

  • Safe and Secure

    A free, downloadable trauma informed practice guide for understanding and responding to children and young people affected by family violence.

  • "The right to think and believe what they want"

    Article 14 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that

    “Children have the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, so long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.  Parents should guide children on these matters.”