White Kite Drawing

Practice Paper – When child protection and child mental health intersect: Implications for workers.



Date: Wednesday 26 July 2023 from 5.30 PM 

Venue:  Hilton Hotel Brisbane, Victoria Room

Note: LIVE Stream tickets available see details below

Presentation commences at 6.00 PM

When child protection and child mental health intersect: Implications for workers

About this paper:

Mental health issues in society, and increasingly in children, continue to be a topic of concern.  In the child protection sector, we continue to see evidence of mental health issues contributing to harm to children and the community, through deaths and serious injuries of children and increasingly antisocial behaviours of young people resulting in criminal justice responses. Increased media and community focus on negative outcomes relating to children and young people is reducing opportunities for nuanced discussions about mental health and trauma behaviours in young people.  This practice paper will provide that opportunity for discussion and reflections for practice to help child protection practitioners navigate these choppy waters.


Natalie Lewis

Natalie Lewis is a Gamilaraay woman and the Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission.  Natalie’s career spans more than 25 years across youth justice, child and family services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. She was the CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak for 8 years and has also held numerous appointments on Boards and Councils that have driven significant reform in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child protection and family services sectors.

Natalie is fiercely committed to progressing a transformational reform agenda to ensure that children’s rights are upheld in Queensland and nationally.

James Scott

Professor James Scott is a Child and Youth Psychiatrist at the Queensland Children’s Hospital Child and Youth Mental Health Service and the University of Queensland Child Health Research Centre. He leads a programme of research investigating and preventing exposure to modifiable risk factors for mental illness in children and youth and clinical studies to improve the mental health of young people.  He continues to treat children and adolescents through his private practice at New Farm Clinic.

Charmaine Matebau

Charmaine Matebau is the Acting Chief Practitioner for Child and Family Services Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services and substantively appointed to the Regional Director Sunshine Coast and Central Region. Charmaine commenced her career in child protection in 1995 in the non-government sector and since joining the Department in 2001 has seen many roles including, Family Services Officer, Senior Practitioner, Project Officer and Manager of various Child Safety Service Centres for over 11 years. For the past 7 years Charmaine has been in Senior Officer and Senior Executive Officer Positions in Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast and Central Region.  Charmaine has completed Post Graduate Qualifications in Public Sector Management and has also completed ANZSOG Strategic Leadership programs. Her areas of passion are amplifying the voices of children and parents and especially those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. Charmaine is an experienced public sector leader with a demonstrated history as a child protection practitioner. Her extensive knowledge of front line service delivery, combined with her passion for leadership, deep care for people and interest in partnering for better outcomes with a human centred design approach enables her to positively influence desired outcomes. Charmaine’s leadership, commitment and dedication to Queensland Children was officially acknowledged when she was awarded a Child Protection Week Award 2022 for her outstanding partnership work with Education Queensland.


Debbie Jones

Debbie Jones has worked in the Queensland Public Service for over twenty years, undertaking a variety of roles including policy development, project management, service delivery, management and staff development/capacity building. Debbie has a strong social justice background, including roles in prosecutions, corrections, and police.  Throughout her career, she has focussed on the needs and issues of vulnerable people including victims of crime, children in the youth justice and child protection systems, and Indigenous people, particularly Indigenous homelessness and suicide. Debbie is the manager of Policy and Programs within the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group in the Queensland Police Service and is engaged in delivery of recommendations from the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce report on women and girls’ experience in the criminal justice system.

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RSVP – Wednesday 19 July 2023

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