Katharine McLean


Katharine McLean holds a BA in Human Services, Child and Family studies and has been working in the non-government sector in Queensland and the United Kingdom for over 18 years. Katharine’s experience includes establishing programs for children and families across a variety of settings including with youth offending, young parents at risk of homelessness, children’s mental health and post adoption services. Katharine’s current role is Team Leader for Post Adoption Support QLD and Child and Family Wellbeing Service Brisbane North for The Benevolent Society.


The impact of early intervention in increasing resilience and wellbeing for children and families (Oral Paper Presentation)

The Benevolent Society’s Child and Family Wellbeing Service provides early intervention support to children 0-18 years at risk of developing mental health concerns. The program is open to all parents concerned about their child’s wellbeing and seeking support to build their coping and self-regulation skills. In recent years a stronger evidence base to support models of intervention with children has evolved, however it is critical this continues to be informed by practice experience.

In this case study presentation, delegates will gain an understanding of how using evidence-informed practices with children and their parents improves their ability to adapt to challenges and build their resilience over time. Outcomes data measured at regular review points via our Resilience Outcomes Tool will be shared.

Key components of our practices will be explored; teaching children cognitive, behavioural and social problem solving skills to build their responsiveness to overcome life challenges as they arise. Five domains central to our approach will be shared, outlining essential protective factors to build and maintain children’s and families’ resilience. Delegates will discover how resilience is an attainable outcome for every child and parent through:
• increasing safety;
• building secure and stable relationships;
• increasing coping/self-regulation;
• improving empathy; and
• increasing self-efficacy.

Practitioners will offer insight into how understanding children’s mental health within the context of their relationship with their closest caregiver translates to outcomes for children and families in the longer term.

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