media release

UK social work expert shares learnings to SA social workers

World-renowned UK social work expert Emeritus Professor Eileen Munro is currently in Adelaide sharing her knowledge and expertise about navigating the complexity of working with children and families in the child protection space, with local social workers.

Emeritus Professor Munro was engaged to complete the Munro Review of the English Child Protection System: A child-centred system by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011 and has since been working with local authorities in England to re-design their system.

Earlier in the year, Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson led a study tour to the UK –with government and non-government representatives –which included three days in London meeting with 15 child protection experts, including Emeritus Professor Munro.

The tour focused on key topics, including Family Group Conferencing and improving education outcomes for children and young people in care in South Australia. The group also visited Leeds to learn more about the Child Friendly City Model and their 10-year journey to achieve one of the lowest rates of statutory child protection intervention in the UK.

Minister Sanderson said it was a “huge coup” to have Emeritus Professor Munro in Adelaide talking to local social workers from the Department for Child Protection (DCP), Flinders University and non-government organisations.

“The connections we have forged in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and beyond have highlighted the shared challenges that face us all in child protection,” said Minister Sanderson. “We share a common goal, which is to improve outcomes for children, young people and families and we are taking new and innovative ideas on board to inform our work here in South Australia.

During her time in Adelaide, Emeritus Professor Munro is meeting with social work students and teachers at Flinders University, holding two sessions with DCP social workers today. On Wednesday night, she presented a sold-out public lecture to 300 people at U City.

DCP Chief Executive Officer Cathy Taylor said: “It has been eight years since Professor Munro completed her review of the English child protection system –in South Australia, we are three years post the Nyland Royal Commission.”

“It’s very interesting to see how they are progressing and how we are progressing following these major reviews.

“It shows that turning the system around requires long-term, sustained and focused effort from the whole of government and the community to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children and families.”