In light of the COVID-19 situation a decision has been made to suspend research applications at this time. Further updates will be advised on this website.

We work to ensure our policies, programs and services are informed by rigorous and robust evidence. We therefore support research that strengthens evidence-based decision-making and contributes to effective policy and practice.

Our participation in commissioned and collaborative research is designed to ensure that:

  • research is relevant and managed in accordance with legal and administrative requirements
  • our risk is minimised
  • the risk to clients, staff or stakeholder safety is minimised
  • research preserves the dignity of research participants
  • we optimise our return on investment in research
  • research contributes to our goals, policy and priorities
  • research meets community expectations and is conducted to high standards of ethical conduct and probity.

Support may be provided to research projects through in-kind assistance such as providing access to data, clients and staff.

Approval process

Any research request that involves staff or our clients must first be approved by the Director-General. You should not go directly to service centres for research approval. Applications for research projects are assessed by a research panel and final approval of all projects is at the discretion of the Director-General.

Research proposals are assessed on, but not restricted to, the following key attributes:

  • quality of the proposed methodology
  • identified alignment of research objectives with our and/or the service area’s cross-cutting research priorities
  • feasibility of the research
  • capacity of the researcher/s to complete research as proposed
  • operational impost and burden to us
  • risks for us, our staff and clients, identified and mitigated by researcher
  • requests for in-kind and financial support (departmental and other sources) are clearly articulated
  • research presents value for money, including impost on us
  • ethical, legal, privacy and confidentiality implications are identified by the researcher
  • ethical clearance proposed or obtained from an NHMRC registered HREC
  • accompanying documents are included in proposal e.g. Consent forms, Participant information sheets, data collection instruments.

All research must conform to privacy provisions under the Information Privacy Act (Qld) 2009, the Privacy Act (Cth) 1988, and the ethical standards outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2015. We must assess all research proposing the involvement of clients of Child Safety services to ensure compliance with research provisions under the Child Protection Act (1999).

Please note: The panel is not an ethics committee and approval from a registered Human Research Ethics Committee is a requirement of any approval.

We encourage you to discuss and resolve any potentially contentious issues or unforeseen problems with the panel as early as possible.

How to submit a research application

If you would like to discuss your research idea with us, please send an email to 

Child Safety Research Conferences

The former Department of Child Safety held research conferences in 2006, 2007 and 2008. An historical publication set is available as an archive of those presentations and resources for reference purposes only.