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Personal profile

Research Biography

I have been employed at Flinders University in the Social Work Discipline since 2016.  I am now a Senior Lecturer (balanced academic).  I am also a member of the Social Work Innovation Research Living Space (SWIRLS) that focuses on social work practice research. 

I have 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 in the Department for Child Protection in South Australia.

My PhD research "The 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.

I am currently involved in research continues to build my research narrative in the context of child protection and child centred practice. My research focuses on the intersection of domestic and family violence and child protection, protection and safety of children in the context of specialist domestic and family violence services, privileging Aboriginal culture and strength and builing practice, understanding "home" for children and young people in care, and child centred social work. 

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

Supervised Students Successes

  • Sally-Ann Keipert - Honours

External positions

Member of the Child Death and Serious Injury Committe, Department of Education, Govt. of South Australia

21 Jul 2001 → …

Member , Australian Children's Safety Alliance


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Social work

Supervisory Interests

  • Child protection


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