White Kite Drawing

Practice Paper Invitation – No easy solutions: Supporting Children in out of home residential care – 22 March 2022


Tuesday 22 March 2022 from 5.30 PM, Presentation commences at 6.00 PM 

Venue:  Hilton Hotel, Queens Ballroom, 190 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane 

Livestream ticket option available

Topic : 
No easy solutions: Supporting Children in out of home residential care. 

About this paper:

A small proportion of children in the child protection system require support in residential care. These children generally have complex emotional and behavioural problems and a very high level of psychosocial needs that are unable to be addressed by kinship or family based care. Although intensive support is provided through residential care, children often have adverse outcomes because of a wide range of challenges. An expert panel will discuss these challenges of providing support through residential care. The panel will discuss ways in which residential care can be improved so children’s outcomes are enhanced. The limitations of residential care will also be considered. In this challenging area of child protection, there are no easy solutions.

Panelists : 

  • Dr Ian Mackie, Deputy Director-General, Culture and Economic Participation, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    Dr Ian Mackie has had a long and fruitful career working across the public, private and community sectors. He has been a teacher, administrator, trade union leader, public servant and member of a number of important public boards. Specifically, in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sphere, he has worked as the Principal of Aurukun State School and Head of Western Cape College. He was also Assistant Director-General of Indigenous Education and Training Futures (Education Queensland), where he endeavoured to bring new thinking to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education. This task led to him undertaking a doctoral dissertation on reform and innovation in this field, where he has given a number of public talks and published articles in refereed journals. Dr Mackie is also an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology. Dr Mackie took up his present position as Deputy Director General, Culture and Economic Participation in the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships in August 2018. Here he has endeavoured to draw upon his extensive professional experience and contacts within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ground the Thriving Communities agenda within sound practice and theory.
  • Lydia Rusch, Consultant Psychiatrist, Evolve Therapeutic Services
    Dr Lydia Rusch is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who works with Evolve Therapeutic Services at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. She has extensive experience in treating mental health problems in children and young people living in out of home care. She has previously worked as a consultant psychiatrist in Adolescent Inpatient and Community Mental Health Services


  • Bernadette Harvey, Regional Executive Director, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs – South West Region,  BA (Welfare and Psych), BSc (Psych), LLB, EMPA
    Bernadette joined the department of Family Services, Rockhampton in 1992 as a child care officer working in frontline delivery of statutory child protection and juvenile justice services.  Since that time Bernadette has worked in a variety of direct service delivery and leadership positions across Central Queensland, Central office and South West Queensland.  Bernadette gave evidence before the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry in 2012 and in 2016/2017 led a review of out of home care in Queensland.  Bernadette worked as the Executive Director, Child and Family Operations before commencing as Regional Executive Director in South West Queensland in 2018.  From 2014 – 2021 Bernadette was a departmental member of Child Death Review Panels and the Child Death Review Board.  Bernadette has Bachelor degrees in Arts (Psychology/Welfare Studies), Science (Psychology) and Law and an Executive Masters in Public Administration.


  • Lindsay Wegener, Executive Director, PeakCare
    Lindsay Wegener is the Executive Director of PeakCare Queensland, a child protection peak body, A social worker by profession, Lindsay commenced his career within the Queensland Department of Children’s Services and for the next 20 years continued working in the government sector performing senior policy, program development and director roles in both child protection and youth justice. Lindsay then worked for several years in director roles within non-government organisations followed by four years of delivering consultancy services for government and non-government agencies before joining PeakCare in 2011. Lindsay is highly regarded as an innovative practitioner, policy-maker, service administrator and advocate.


  • Shelley Wall, CEO, Infinity Community Solutions
    Shelley Wall MSW, Dip Bus, GAICD is a highly experienced social worker and leader in child protection and child family welfare. Shelley is a co-founding Director and CEO of Infinity Community Solutions (Queensland and South Australia).  Shelley is the foundation Board Chair of the National Therapeutic Residential Care Alliance Ltd.  Shelley was President of Peakcare from 2014-2017 and re-joined the Board in 2021.  Shelley has been an executive manager and consultant across government, non-government, community, and family services sectors for over 25 years.  Shelley has contributed to the development of innovative child-centred programs, implemented significant expansion in service delivery and managed major organisational change as well as been a leader of significant sector reform.  Shelley is a member and senior associate of the international Association Children’s Residential Centres, based in the United States. She has been a regular presenter at Australian and international policy, practice and research conferences. Shelley is the recipient of multiple sector awards including from the Department of Child Safety (Queensland), Queensland Foster and Kinship Care, The Sanctuary Institute and the European Scientific Association for Residential and Foster Care of Children and Adolescents (EUSARF).

Professor James Scott, Head of Mental Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute



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