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Monday, September 16 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
A trauma informed approach to capturing the voices of vulnerable children in Out-of-Home-Care evaluation

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Suzanne Evas (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria), Antoniette Bonaguro (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria)

The Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria is committed to including the voice of vulnerable children in program evaluation. However, accomplishing this is fraught with complications, including privacy and ethical risks, the difficulty of recruiting and interviewing very young children, and guardian consent for interviews or surveys. This session describes a bespoke approach to capture the voice of the child in the monitoring and evaluation of an out of home care program aimed at keeping sibling groups together and where sibling groups are separated, ensuring they have meaningful contact.

The approach was developed by the staff of partner agencies delivering the program. The approach leveraged knowledge of the children and took a trauma informed approach to develop ways of gathering data and information to ensure the child's safety. A mix of survey and play techniques were developed for the children, as well as processes to capture data from foster carers, family, program staff and clinicians to allow triangulation of evidence measuring the children's experiences and progress. This collaborative approach to evaluative thinking supported agencies to deliver the program. The strategies have been embedded in program protocols, improving the inclusion of the voice of the child in out of home care practices. The approach also enabled the data to be gathered as part of quality assurance monitoring, and collectively evaluated. Early results of the strategies will be presented along with reflections from the staff of the collaborative evaluative process in the program.

Chairs
avatar for Eleanor Williams

Eleanor Williams

Assistant Director, Centre for Evaluation and Research, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria
In my current role as Assistant Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Research at the Department of Health and Human Services, I am working to build an evaluation culture across a large government department of over 12,000 employees. My team and I aim to improve the use of data... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Dr. Suzanne Evas

Dr. Suzanne Evas

Senior Evaluation and Research Officer, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
Suzanne Evas has been working broadly in the social services sector for over 25 years. She began her professional life as an allied health practitioner and program coordinator, working across clinical and community settings in the US and Canada. A PhD scholarship at the University... Read More →
AB

Antoniette Bonaguro

Principal Project Officer, Reform and Service Development, Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria
Antoniette Bonaguro has been working in the Human Services field since 1993. She has 20 years of experience working in the Community Services sector. She has been working for Department of Health and Human Services since 2018, where she has been involved in managing a range of innovative... Read More →


Monday September 16, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST
C2.2