Professor Chris Goddard has worked extensively in social services in the UK and child protection in Australia.
His research career started in the child protection team at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne where he undertook some of the earliest work connecting child abuse and other forms of family violence. His research into child deaths led to an Age series and a Four Corners ABC TV investigation into child protection in Victoria.
He was Head of the School of Social Work at Monash University from 1998-2007. He established Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia, a joint initiative with the Australian Childhood Foundation and Monash University, and is now full-time Director.
He has published more than 50 Opinion pieces in major Australian newspapers, including The Age and The Australian, in the last seven years on issues concerning family violence, child abuse, child protection and children’s rights, including children in detention centres and abuse in churches. He has also written more than 50 refereed journal articles and many government and non-government reports.
Professor Goddard's research and commentary have contributed to policy and legislative change in key areas such as mandatory reporting and child sexual abuse. However, there is still more work to be done, particularly in collecting coherent national data and delivering accountable services.
In 2002 he wrote In the Firing Line: Violence and Power in Child Protection with Dr Janet Stanley (published by Wiley) which linked two issues of major concern in child protection: the re-abuse of children and violence against child protection workers.
With Dr Neerosh Mudaly he wrote The Truth is Longer than a Lie: Children’s experiences of abuse and intervention, which was published in 2006 by Jessica Kingsley. This is the first book to reveal what children and young people have to say about abuse, its effects on their lives, and their experiences when disclosing the abuse.
His book, with Linda Briskman and Susie Latham, Human Rights Overboard: Seeking asylum in Australia, (published by Scribe in 2008) won the 2008 Australian Human Rights Literature Non-Fiction Award.