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Personal profile

Research Biography

Carmela was employed as a part-time lecturer in 2016 and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in October 2018.  Carmela is a member of the Social Work Innovation Research Living Space (SWIRLS) that focuses on social work research. 

Carmela, has over twenty years' experience in the field of child protection and human services as a professional social work practitioner and academic.  I have worked in government and non-government organisations nationally and internationally.  My employment history exemplifies a wide range of experiences including front line practitioner, policy and program manager, involvement in service development, and senior advisor to the Deputy Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection in South Australia.

Carmela's PhD research €œThe moral status of children in child protection: the case for emerging from our moral ignorance €� engaged in a philosophical deliberation asserting that children are valuable members of the human community illuminating the criticality of relationships, rights and obligations. This discourse informed an in-depth analysis of the statutory child protection services. Findings indicated that the receipt of statutory child protection responses, for children at the centre of the study, did not alleviate their experiences of oppression and harm.  Transformation within statutory child protection is contingent on an in depth understanding of the realities of children's lives and a workforce that is capable and confident.

My current research work is focused on building collaborations between domestic and family violence and child protection.  This work has been funded by the Early Intervention Research Directorate (DHS) and is a two year research study. 

Research Interests

Social work in the context of child protection

Child centred practice

Professional judgement and decision making

Voice, visibility and oppression of children in contexts of complexity

Building social workforce capacity

Child protecton systems

Child abuse and neglect

Practice Research

Intersection of domestic and family and child protection

Building collaborations

External positions

Member , Australian Children's Safety Alliance


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