Dr Belinda Mayfield

Biography

Dr Belinda Mayfield’s work in the Practice and Quality Team includes supporting practice quality through a range of functions including leading implementation of evidence-based programs, reflective practice and program development.

Belinda has extensive experience as a social worker in the child and family field across a range of practice and policy roles. Belinda has a particular interest in supporting evidence-informed practice, which was a focus of her doctoral study.

Abstract

Are we asking the right questions? Enhancing approaches to recruitment and assessment of foster carers (Oral Paper Presentation)

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has tasked Government and the community sector with the responsibility for enhancing child safety in institutional settings. As part of meeting our responsibility as a national provider of human services, Life Without Barriers has established a partnership with key researchers to collaboratively develop abuse prevention approaches and to test their utility for guiding organisational child-safe practices.

This presentation will focus on one aspect of this collaborative work which has been a project to develop a comprehensive recruitment and assessment framework, specifically focused on eliciting information from prospective foster carers, relevant to the risk of sexual violence and abuse in out-of-home care settings. The presentation will provide an overview of the outcome of the key project activities which included a literature review, framework development and co-designed practice tools to enhance the identification of potential risks. The framework which involves a guided interview schedule has been designed as an addition to existing recruitment and assessment processes, including probity checks, and not as a stand-alone approach.

The presentation will discuss the challenges in light of the limitations of the current evidence base but also the benefits of researchers and practitioners in this field working in partnership to co-design practice resources, with the aim of testing their utility. The evidence-base generated from this project over time is expected to advance theory, and enhance future policy and practice in this area.

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