2017 - Placement stability in out-of-home care

Date: 16 February 2017

Theme: Placement stability for children in out-of-home care.

Facilitator: Ms Zoe Rathus AM from the Griffith University School of Law


Ms Zoe Rathus AM

Ms Zoe Rathus AM is a senior lecturer in law and Director of the Clinical Education Program at Griffith University Law School.  She teaches family law and ethics and professional responsibility as well as clinical courses.  Her research focuses on the family law system with an emphasis on family violence, women and children. She has published in a range of high quality journals and spoken at national and international conferences.  Zoe worked in private practice from 1981 until becoming coordinator of the Women’s Legal Service in 1989.  She worked there until 2004, engaging in extensive law reform activities for women.  She worked in South Africa on gender issues between 1995 and 1998 and has served on a number of Boards and committees.  She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Queensland Families and Children’s Commission. Zoe was awarded an Order of Australia in 2011 for her services to women, the law, Indigenous peoples and education.


Professor Selena Bartlett

Professor Selena Bartlett is a Group Leader in Addiction Neuroscience and Obesity at the Translational Research Institute at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and a Research Capacity Building Professor in the School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health, QUT. In 2013, she won the Outstanding Achievement Award and Biotech Research Award and is an Ambassador for the Women in Technology organisation. In 2016 she released a book entitled ‘MiGGi Matters: How to train your brain to manage stress and trim your body’ which is an interactive guide to engage and educate you about the brain and how it is affected by stress, sugar, high-fat foods, alcohol, and lack of exercise.

Selena Bartlett will be presenting her current research findings relating to various aspect of placement stability for children in out of home care.

Transcript - Professor Selena Bartlett presentation (DOCX, 22KB).

Ms Merran Butler

Merran Butler is a Director in FACS Analysis and Research at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and is responsible for leading the statistical analysis and modelling team.  Merran manages the data aspects of the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) which examines the outcomes of children and young people entering out-of-home care in NSW for the first time.  Merran has worked as a statistician at FACS since 2006 on a range of projects primarily focussed on children and young people in the child protection system and in out-of-home care. Prior to this, Merran worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for 15 years.

Merran Butler will be presenting on the research headed by Professor Fred Wulczyn from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her paper will present data on placement instability from the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study. It will tell us which children in out-of-home care move most exploring the impact of factors such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, age, gender and type of placement (kin versus non-kin). Results from this study can be used to design interventions to prevent unnecessary moves.   

Ms Merran Butler's PowerPoint presentation (PPTX, 2MB)

Dr Susan Tregeagle

Dr Susan Tregeagle is Advocacy and Research Senior Manager for Barnardos Australia.  She is a Social Worker, with post-graduate qualifications in social administration. Sue has published internationally and locally on adoption, service models for care, early intervention, case management systems and Information and Communication Technology in child welfare practice.

Susan Tregeagle will be presenting on the role open adoption can play in improving stability for children in out of home care. She will present information about why Barnados Australia moved to adoption rather than long term care and how Barnados manages to achieve adoption outcomes. She will present data on children who have been adopted in NSW including their experiences within their birth families, as well profiles of their birth and adoptive parents. Her paper will also explore barriers to adoption.

Dr Susan Tregeagle PowerPoint presentation (PPTX, 15MB)

Transcript - Dr Susan Tregeagle presentation (DOCX, 21KB).

Photos from Research in the Round