White Kite Drawing

Practice Paper –  Impact and Management of Trauma on Children in Out of Home CarePractice Paper



Date: Thursday 18th JULY 2024 from 5.30pm 

Venue: The Oaks Hotel, 25 Annand Street, Toowoomba Queensland 4350 

Presentation commences at 6.00 PM 

Topic : Impact and Management of Trauma on Children in Out of Home Care

About this paper: Any event where a young person is exposed to actual or threatened harm, serious injury, death or sexual violence has the potential to be traumatic.  Young people may have directly experienced these things themselves or they may have witnessed it happening to others, it may be something that happened once or on multiple occasions over a long period of time. These repeated traumas such as physical and/or sexual abuse or family violence are more common for young people in out-of-home care.  These may have even been the experiences that led them to living in care.

Every young person will experience and respond to trauma differently.  This will depend on many things such as their developmental age, the type of trauma and the support they get.  For many young people in out-of-home care, their experiences of trauma are often complex, ongoing and have begun when they have been very young.  Therefore, the impact can usually be seen in many areas of their functioning such as physical health, emotional regulation, relationships and education.

Our speaker will share their lived experiences to help build awareness empathy and understanding of the unique experiences of trauma for children in OOHC and how we might address it effectively.

Ms Gaskell will share her experiences as a child ‘not protected by the system’, a child ‘in care’, a Kinship Carer, and now a lengthy career working with families within many differing ‘streams’ of the and child protection system gives me a unique perspective into the various facets of the system.

Dr Collier will share her own expensive experience as both a practitioner and a foster carer supporting children with trauma histories in the OOHC system. Both Ms Gaskell and Dr Collier are passionate about building hope, motivation and insight for the community, and children and practitioners in the child protection system/sector.


Malarni Gaskell, is an Expert Child and Family Consultant/Assessor for Unique Minds Consultancy. Mrs. Gaskell is an experienced assessor and has worked in the Child Protection Sector for over fourteen years, predominately in the Non-Government Sector. Ms Gaskell is also mother of 2, a former child in care, a kinship carer for my siblings, a general foster carer, and she am currently a professional working in the child protection and human services sector. Ms Gaskell has 12 full and half siblings across 6 different parenting configurations, with all of her siblings’ receiving services from the child protection services in different States across Australia. Ms Gaskell hold a Bachelors Degree in Human Services and am currently studying a Masters of Social Work.

Dr Simone Collier Co-Director of Unique Minds Consultancy, a qualified Play Therapist, and trauma-intervention specialist. Simone is a Special Education teacher who has taught in behaviour support and special Education and mainstream settings for a number of years. Simone worked as a Deputy Principal and as a Guidance Officer before moving into the social work sector, initially in homelessness and domestic and family violence and then into Child Protection. Simone has a varied career working with children and young people in Residential facilities and in complex care settings as well as out-of-home care with foster and kinship carers. Simone has worked in Team Leader, Program Co-ordinator and Program Manager roles in child protection as well as in a State Project Manager role with Act for Kids setting up a program for Individual Support packages. Simone is involved in a pilot research project in partnership with the University of Southern Queensland trialling an evaluative tool to measure cumulative harm in children and young people. Simone is deeply passionate about supporting children with complex trauma and is currently engaged in her doctorate research investigating the barriers and enablers for mainstream classroom teachers to engage in professional development of trauma informed classroom pedagogy. Recently, Simone published her first children’s book, titled Jeremy’s Changing Family which is focused on hearing the voice of a little boy who is the biological child of foster carers. The book explores the challenges and celebrations of a foster family and in particular the children of foster carers.

Dr India Bryce, Senior Lecturer (Counselling) University of Southern Queensland.


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