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 Research Living Space (SWIRLS) which is a social work research centre.
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 at the Department for Child Protection in South Australia.
Carmela’s 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.
Bachelor of Social Work (Honours), Northern Territory University
Master of Social Work, Monash University
PhD, Flinders University
My teaching responsibilities predominantly focus in working with children and families in contexts of complexity.
Carmela is a postdoctoral research fellow in the program that has been established as a result of a unique partnership with the SA Government’s Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD), which was established in response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission. The fellowship program will undertake research that will inform the development of more effective early intervention strategies that promote the health, safety and wellbeing of children in South Australia.
More specifically, the research agenda for the postdoctoral program will focus on:
The focus of the postdoctoral program is to engage with services including the Department for Child Protection and the Women’s Safety Services South Australia and have an impact on practice to improve outcomes for children and their families and strengthen the professional judgement and decision-making of practitioners.
Social work in the context of child protection
Working with Aboriginal children and families
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
Intersection of domestic and family and child protection
Department for Child Protection
Women's Safety Services South Australia
KWY, Aboriginal Family Services
Australian Children's Safety Alliance
Australian Association of Social Workers
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