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Our funding

The SVRPU receives funding from external and internal sources, allowing the Unit to carry out this vital work.


Externally funded grants

Chief Investigators



Project Title and Synopsis

Administering Institution

Higgins, McKillop, Rayment-McHugh, & Russell


Westpac Safer Children, Safer Communities Grant


 Advancing organisational child-safe practices using contextual safeguarding strategies

In partnership with the Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU, the Children’s Safety and Safeguarding Capabilities Surveys will be used to evaluate contextual prevention strategies being implemented in youth-serving organisations to safeguard children from abuse.

Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

Rayment-McHugh & McKillop


University of Newcastle


This project will evaluate the Name Narrate Navigate program, developed by the University of Newcastle to address youth perpetrated family and domestic violence in the Hunter Region of New South Wales.

USC Australia

McKillop & Rayment-McHugh


Lucy Faithfull Foundation & Stop It Now! U.S.


This qualitative project will record the history of the Stop It Now! movement over the past 30 years, with a view to providing recommendations for future developments and collaborations.

USC Australia

Christensen, Rayment-McHugh, McKillop


Daniel Morcombe Foundation


Evaluation of Changing Futures project

This project will evaluate the Changing Futures program, which is designed to build the national knowledge base regarding children's harmful sexual behaviour.

USC Australia

McKillop, Rayment-McHugh, Christensen, & Adams


Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women


Cairns Youth Sexual Violence Support Services – Evaluation

This research project evaluates the implementation and delivery of the Cairns-based Youth Sexual Violence Prevention Service and Youth Sexual Violence Counselling and Case Management Support Service. It will consider the efficiency and effectiveness of the service response in preventing and reducing harms caused by perpetration of youth sexual violence to drive continuous improvement in service delivery.

USC Australia

McKillop, Rayment-McHugh & Christensen


Save the Children Australia


Informing Child-Safe Practice from a Contextual Lens

This mixed-methods project measures current organisational safety climate and practices in Australia. Data from this project will be used to inform an online professional development training package focused on contextual prevention frameworks to support and enhance child-safe practice. The secondary aim is to further validate Kaufman’s Organisational Safety Climate Survey, and assess the psychometric properties the newly developed short-form survey (McKillop, Rayment-McHugh, Kaufman, Ransley, & Gardiner, 2020) for measuring organisational change.

USC Australia

Rayment-McHugh (project leader), McKillop, Bennett, Christensen, & Campbell


Queensland Corrective Services


Developing an evidence-informed and culturally safe treatment program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males convicted of sexual offences.

This applied research project involves the design and development of a new therapeutic program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who have been adjudicated for sexual offences. A comprehensive literature and interviews with key stakeholders will be undertaken to inform the design and development of the new program. Training will be provided for QCS staff in program implementation. Pilot evaluation will be undertaken to inform program refinements.

USC Australia

Rayment-McHugh, McKillop, Christensen


Life Without Barriers


Enhancing risk assessment for preventing child sexual abuse: An evaluation of Life Without Barriers 'train-the-trainer' program

The aims of the project are to evaluate the implementation of new foster carer recruitment tools, designed to enhance the prevention of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care settings.

USC Australia

Rayment-McHugh, Christensen (co-leaders), McKillop,Moritz,Burton,Jones, Prenzler, Lacey & Edwards, in partnership with Queensland Police Service



Australian Institute of Criminology


'LEADing evidence-informed Child Exploitation Material (CEM) Reduction.'

Effective CEM reduction requires policy and practice to be evidence informed. This project synthesises the current evidence across a range of disciplines that contribute to CEM reduction and presents it in an accessible format for use by academic, government, and practice professionals. This synthesis will ascertain what is most effective (i.e., ‘what works, for whom, in what circumstances, in what respects and how’) as well as ‘what looks promising’. To enhance knowledge-to-practice transfer, the research team will disseminate these findings via an accessible, interactive, and consumable online toolkit (website).

USC Australia 

Christensen, Rayment-McHugh, McKillop


Queensland Police Service


'What Works' in Policing: Managing Child Sex Offenders in the Community

This project aims to provide a systematic review and synthesis of current empirical and practice literature on the management of chid sex offenders in the community, to identify ‘what works’, particularly with regard to community-based policing practices. The review will target risk assessment and management, intelligence, supervision and monitoring, situational management strategies, and prioritisation of resources to enhance community safety.

USC Australia
McKillop, Rayment-McHugh, Christensen, Prenzler


Queensland Corrective Services Grant Scheme


The effectiveness of sexual and violent offender rehabilitation and reintegration programs: integrating global and local perspectives to enhance correctional outcomes

This project aims to identify the most successful pathways from rehabilitation to reintegration for sexual and violent offenders. The impact of individual-level (e.g., cultural heritage, gender, age) and program-level (e.g., type, design, delivery, dosage) factors on outcomes will be examined. Significant to QCS, this project will identify key strengths and areas for enhancement to guide future policy and practice, consistent with international best-practice standards and in line with recent Queensland review recommendations.

USC Australia
McKillop, Rayment-McHugh


Queensland Corrective Services


Evaluation framework for therapeutic interventions delivered within a forensic context

This project developed an evaluation framework to measure therapeutic progress and other associated outcomes at the individual, practitioner and system levels for adult clients undertaking individual or group therapeutic programs across custodial and community correctional settings. The proposed framework recommended for adoption by QCS is based on realist approach (Pawson & Tilley, 1997), operationalised through the EMMIE Framework (Johnson, Tilley & Bowers, 2015). This is recommended on the basis that it accommodates the complexities inherent in correctional programming and is adaptable to group and individual modalities, and custodial and community settings.

USC Australia 



The Benevolent Society


Examination of the Benevolent Society’s ‘child-safe, child-friendly’ risk management framework: Recommendations for enhanced practice

The aims of this project are to systematically review current workplace culture, policies and practices and to provide recommendations for augmenting current prevention strategies at an individual, situational and systemic level, to mitigate risks associated with abuses occurring in the first place, and for appropriate responses, when abuses do occur. Guidance for developing locally-tailored, place-based prevention strategies that address the unique settings (e.g., out-of-home care, residential settings, day-care) served by the organisation will be a key focus of the final report and recommendations.

USC Australia 



Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women


A short-term outcome evaluation of the Bravehearts Turning Corners program

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the short-term outcomes and effectiveness of the Bravehearts Turning Corners program for addressing sexually harmful behaviour by youth. Turning Corners program was developed to fill a perceived service gap in responding to and preventing harmful sexual behaviours by youth within the community. The program provides a comprehensive, integrated and multi-systemic response to this issue through support and counselling, to address these problematic behaviours and prevent future harms. Turning Corners is unique in that clients do not need to be currently engaged in the juvenile justice system and the program has a strong focus on early intervention and improved outcomes for the young person, their family and the community. Findings and recommendations stemming from this research will help inform decision-making regarding service expansion. Learnings will help to improve and refine the Program and its service delivery as part of a broader ongoing program development strategy.

USC Australia 

Internally funded grants

Chief Investigators Income Years Project Title and Synopsis Administering Institution
McKillop, Burton, Patterson Hobbs, Christensen, Rayment-McHugh


Research Collaboration Grant


Sentencing disparities for female and male sexual offending in Queensland: Do they exist, and what is the impact?  (RG18/03)

Using sentencing data from 2012-2017, the aim of this project is to determine whether sentencing disparities exist between female sexual offenders (FSOs) and male sexual offenders (MSOs) in Queensland. This is an under-researched area in Australasia. Historically, there has been debate in scholarship concerning gendered sentencing disparities for these crimes. Sentencing decisions are important as a deterrence measure and for ensuring access for all individuals to appropriate assessment and intervention programs to address these behaviours and reduce reoffence risk. This project strengthens an existing international and interdisciplinary collaboration between USC researchers in criminology and justice, and law, with NZ researchers in psychology (University of Otago). Extending the NZ study to Australia will produce the largest comparative sample of MSO and FSO sentencing data in Australasia and allow for cross-cultural comparisons.

USC Australia
McKillop, Brown, Labhardt, Jones


Research Collaboration Grant

2016- 2018

Comparison of UK and Australian, students and offenders, experiences of unintended exposure to indecent images online and online pornography use (RCG16/02). Prevention of sexual violence and abuse in online and offline contexts (RCG18/02)

USC Australia