Deidre Mulkerin

Biography

Deidre Mulkerin has worked in frontline roles in child protection and juvenile justice, managed regional operations across human services and led statewide reform initiatives for the Queensland Government. Between 2004 and 2016, she worked in a number of executive roles in statutory child protection, juvenile justice and public housing in both operational and program development roles in Queensland and New South Wales. Deidre is currently Deputy Secretary, Commissioning for the human service government agency, Family and Community Services in New South Wales. In this role, Deidre is responsible for ensuring that client outcomes and the use of robust evidence and data drive the decisions about how services are delivered, monitored and improved. As an inaugural participant in the NSW Public Service Commission’s Leadership Academy, Deidre has been recognised as an outstanding public sector leader.

Abstract

Keeping children safe and settled: achieving placement stability in out-of-home care (Plenary: symposium)

Children develop and thrive when they live in stable home environments. This is especially critical for children in out-of-home care, who already face environmental and personal stressors. However, evidence shows that significant numbers of children in 2019 are still being moved around the system, putting their wellbeing at risk.

Rising numbers of children in out-of-home care, and concerns about their wellbeing, have led governments across Australia to introduce major reforms. In this reform environment it is essential we ensure that placement stability in out-of-home care remains a priority issue.

In this symposium we will briefly summarise recent research on placement stability and outline how this research is making a mark on policy and practice. We will identify approaches to improving stability such as SNAICC’s Family Matters Report Card and the Permanency Support Program in NSW. Speakers will highlight actions to improve the system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and the importance of using data to understand system dynamics and trends. The symposium will identify areas where we are not delivering on stability – and how we can achieve change.

The symposium panel of senior leaders has been chosen to reflect diverse perspectives and expertise from policy, practice, advocacy, research and implementation, as well as for their cross-jurisdictional experience.

CO-PRESENTERS:
– Natalie Lewis, CEO, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak
– Professor Claire Tilbury, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University
– Deidre Mulkerin, Deputy Secretary, Commissioning, NSW Family and Community Services

Abstract-Plenary

Children develop and thrive when they live in stable home environments. This is especially critical for children in out-of-home care, who already face environmental and personal stressors. However, evidence shows that significant numbers of children in 2019 are still being moved around the system, putting their wellbeing at risk.

Rising numbers of children in out-of-home care, and concerns about their wellbeing, have led governments across Australia to introduce major reforms. In this reform environment it is essential we ensure that placement stability in out-of-home care remains a priority issue.

In this symposium we will briefly summarise recent research on placement stability and outline how this research is making a mark on policy and practice. We will identify approaches to improving stability such as SNAICC’s Family Matters Report Card and the Permanency Support Program in NSW. Speakers will highlight actions to improve the system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and the importance of using data to understand system dynamics and trends. The symposium will identify areas where we are not delivering on stability – and how we can achieve change.

The symposium panel of senior leaders has been chosen to reflect diverse perspectives and expertise from policy, practice, advocacy, research and implementation, as well as for their cross-jurisdictional experience.

Share/print this page