Professionals protecting children: child protection and psychology education in Australia

Public health School curriculum Higher education Social issues Human rights Children Youth Child protection Australia


Child abuse and neglect are significant problems in Australian society that many graduates of psychology, particularly those who follow pathways towards registration as a psychologist, encounter at some point in their working life. Little is known about the extent to which child abuse and neglect is covered in psychology curricula in Australian universities. This research was the first known study to comprehensively survey child protection related content in Australian psychology programs. The Australian Centre for Child Protection in collaboration with the Australian Psychological Society (APS) sent a purpose developed curriculum mapping survey to 37 universities that offered Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited programs in 2008. Survey responses provided information about undergraduate, fourth year and postgraduate psychology programs across most States and Territories of Australia.

Results of the study showed that students in most accredited psychology programs were exposed to some child protection related content as part of their undergraduate, fourth year, or postgraduate education. For the most part, however, the extent of this information was limited

Authors: Angela Crettenden, Danielle Zerk, Edwina Farrall and Lynette Arnold.

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