Mapping Psychological Services for Child Welfare Clients in Australasia
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
Given the high prevalence rates of mental health difficulties among child welfare clients, this study attempted to map psychological services for such individuals in New Zealand and Australia. In conducting semi-structured interviews with Principal/Senior-Regional Psychologists and Directors from government departments and non-government organisations working alongside child welfare clients throughout Australasia, this study obtained information pertaining to the nature and scope of psychological services provided by such agencies. The most comprehensive data was obtained for New Zealand and New South Wales, while incomplete data described psychological services in Western Australia and Queensland. The findings of this study highlight the absence of a ‘best practice’ model among such services in addition to the disparities that exist between the number of care and protection notifications received by the government child welfare departments in New Zealand and New South Wales, and the development of psychological services within these departments. Furthermore, the lack of acknowledgement of the mental health needs of child welfare clients among both government child welfare departments and non-government organisations in these jurisdictions needs to be addressed before such services can be effectively delivered to these vulnerable children and young people.