Dr Alison Watters

Biography

Alison Watters is a project manager in the Child Welfare Unit at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. With a background in social policy, research and data analysis, Alison has experience in policy development, program implementation as well as data reporting on children. She currently manages the National Survey of the views of children in out-of-home care as well as web-based indicator reporting on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

Abstract

Voices of children and young people in out-of-home care: what are they saying? (Oral Paper Presentation)

A sense of security, stability, continuity and social support are strong predictors of better long-term outcomes for children and young people. Out-of-home care plays a significant role in shaping the lives and development of children and young people who experience it.

The National Standards for out-of-home care (the ‘National Standards’), a priority project under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, have been designed to drive improvements in the consistency and quality of care provided to children and young people who are unable to live with their families and are under the statutory care of the Minister or Chief Executive in states and territories.

The second national survey of children aged 8–17 residing in out-of-home care was conducted in 2018. The data collected allows for reporting against 8 indicators under the National Standards for the second time. New analysis for the 2018 survey includes comparison between 2015 and 2018 data and demographic characteristics. The survey injects the voices of these children into the national discourse about them and provides insights into their sense of security, connectedness, participation and preparation for life after care.

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