Director, ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies
Professor Daryl Higgins’ research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, Professor Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for 25 years.
As the Director of ACU's Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS), and the former Deputy Director (Research) of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Professor Higgins has extensive research experience in the areas of child-safe organisations, child abuse and neglect, child protection, out-of-home care, 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.
In relation to child-safe organisations, Professor Higgins has provided presentations to welfare peak bodies, Indigenous welfare agencies, sports and community organisations, regarding organisational risks and child-safe approaches. Professor Higgins contributed to a number of reports and provided expert advice to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about how and why abuse occurs, the risks within different sectors that need to be addressed within child-safe organisational strategies, and ripple effects that organisational sexual abuse has on families and others. He is also a member of a Reference Group for the Australian Psychological Society, contributing to the development of the Society’s policies and frameworks for responding to the issues raised by the Royal Commission.