Belinda Edwards is the Director of Psychological and Specialist Services at the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS). Belinda is a clinical psychologist who has over 20 years’ experience working with vulnerable families and providing treatment for children and adolescents who have experienced abuse and neglect. Belinda is passionate about the delivery of trauma and evidence-informed assessments and interventions to children, young people and families.
LINKS Trauma Healing Service was introduced as part of Their Futures Matter, a landmark NSW Government reform to overhaul the coordination and delivery of services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
LINKS is a prime example of policy-makers, practitioners and researchers coming together in partnership to deliver an evidence-based, trauma-focused service to achieve placement stability for children in care. Policy-makers have worked alongside experienced practitioners to select evidence-based interventions and develop a data collection approach that informs clinical service delivery, and enables robust evaluation. Practitioners have drawn heavily on their science-practitioner training to incorporate evidence into every aspect of the work they do, and have benefited from the early data insights on service performance. Experienced evaluators have had the dual role of building relationships with practitioners to gather information to answer policy-makers core question of, “Does the service improve outcomes and provide value for money?”
Early review of LINKS has shown that evidence-based models can be delivered with high treatment fidelity but also with compassion and flexibility to children, young people and carers who do not fit inside the usual “research box”. Presenters will lead an interactive discussion that addresses how LINKS is an excellent case study of a service underpinned by strong partnerships across policy, practice and research realms to improve placement stability. The various intersections and lessons learned to date will be shared. A key focus of this session will be translation of evidence, policy and data to enable the successful delivery of an evidence-based trauma service.
Belinda Edwards , Department of Family and Community Services (FACS)
Dr Catherine Wade , Parenting Research Centre
Annette Michaux , Parenting Research Centre