Understanding and Responding to Domestic Violence

Just 6 weeks after arriving in Australia a chance encounter at a birthday party led to me writing Undertsanding and Responding to Domestic Violence for the Office of the Family.  As is often the way with Government it was a good few years before it was published, but nonetheless it was run many times. In doing the work I met Lois Gatley, and that led to an enduring friendship with both her and Patrick, her husband. Lois has been a constant support and inspiration to me for over 20 years

Joint Approach to Child Abuse

Arriving back in Australia after a year in London, I was asked to re-design the Police and Social Worker training in Joint Interviewing in cases of Child Abuse.  The relationship between the two agencies can be strained, to say the least, as they come from very different philosophical backgrounds and developing a model that they both can use to the best interest of the child is crucial. In the past there had (from both sides) been resistance to attending the course but I am proud to say that the re-design was well received and the course very quickly gained credibility - and a waiting list!

A few years later WA opened a specialist unit with a dedicated joint team of social workers and police officers. The course was extended and is now run in-house.

Strong Families Training Programme

Strong Families is an across-Government programme that is very close to my heart. It brings together agencies and develops joint strategies for helping families with complex social problems. When the tender was advertised I was very anxious to win it, and thrilled when I did.  I worked with 12 newly appointed staff over an 18 month period and was very recently recalled to do more work with them. I wrote and presented the training programmes and also prepared a training needs analysis.

Preparation for Adoption Workshops

People wishing to adopt a child are required to attend training before they can proceed with the application, and along with Lana Glogowski, I have been contracted by the Department for Child Protection to run Preparation for Adoption, and Separation and Attachment Workshops.

There are a few things that make these workshops unique; the participants come as couples, which is very different and they are also have an emotional 'charge' as the couples want to be parents and are generally experiencing difficulties with that.

Very few children are put up for adoption in WA and overseas adoption is much more difficult than most people realise. Many countries have either withdrawn from the International programme or have specific criteria that exclude certain people.