Emerging Practice Knowledge: Current Research and Practice Issues in Child and Family Services

The latest edition of ACWA’s developing practice journal (Issue 49), guest edited by Dr Wendy Foote (ACWA), is now available.

The issue begins with Judi Apte’s in-depth discussion of two key components of collaborative work (collective intelligence and cognitive flexibility) and the importance of leadership capabilities in promoting successful interprofessional collaboration. Judi then provides readers with a practical resource (a framework of reading strategies) and guidance on how it can assist practitioners in both planning and improving their collaborative efforts.

In the next article Jade Northcott and colleagues describe the development of a best practice model for practitioners wanting to offer email support to service users. The authors examine email correspondence sent by YoDAA (Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice) which resulted in unsolicited email responses. After identifying five emergent themes the authors propose a best practice email model. This is followed by a response from Siobhan Lawler (UNSW) in which she provides the reader with additional context.

Katrina Stratton, Stephan Lund and Denise Gray outline the role of social media (Facebook) in recruiting and supporting foster carers within Wanslea Family Services. The authors describe the adoption of Facebook at Wanslea, present findings from their survey of staff and carers, and conclude with an informal evaluation of the use of their Facebook page against five themes they previously identified in the literature. This is followed by a response from Liz Potten (ACWA) which provides the reader with detailed description of the successful use of social media by Fostering NSW.

In the next article Jacek and Ines Zuchowski focus on the views of practitioners who work with young refugees in the Townsville region. Examining data from Jacek’s exploratory qualitative study, they identify and discuss four key themes (emotional wellbeing, adapting to a new environment, schooling experience, and structural issues). This is followed by a response from Kathy Karatasas and Dor Akech Achiek (Settlement Services International) in which they comment on the needs of youth refugees and describe some of SSI’s specialist programs.

Examination of case closure, the last stage in the case management cycle, is provided by Carolyn Cousins. Noting that little has been written about case closure, Carolyn explores the importance of establishing goals and the various factors which should be considered when making decisions to close. Importantly, she also suggests practical strategies for more reflective closure practices.

The final feature of Issue 49 is From Discourse to Action – a new feature consisting of short reflective pieces from social work students Bree Mountain and Natalie Femia.

The issue concludes with two reviews (one from Debra Vido, the other from Robert Urquhart) of the Howard Bath and John Seita book The Three Pillars of Transforming Care: Trauma and Resilience in the Other 23 Hours.

Issue 49 of developing practice is available for purchase in both digital and hardcopy format. To access the whole issue or individual articles online visit INFORMIT. If you would prefer to purchase the journal in hardcopy please email: veronica@acwa.asn.au

The next issue of developing practice is in the pipeline and will be published in the next few months. We’ll keep you posted on its release.

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