Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: educational outcomes for children in out-of-home care

Stream: Pathways of care longitudinal study
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 3.45 pm – 5.05 pm


This research aims to understand the educational progression and achievement of children and young people who have had some involvement with the child protection system in an Australian context. Over 4000 children have been longitudinally followed with the POCLS study, offering a unique opportunity to examine children and young people’s educational experiences and outcomes. This presentation will report on linked data from three sources, alongside survey data, to explore the factors that contribute to educational engagement and outcomes of children who enter the out of home care system on interim or final orders. Data from The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) which assesses children’s development on entry to school and The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) participation and performance data across Years 3, 5, 7, and 9, will be reported on. Waves 1, 2 and 3 of the POCLS survey data undertaken with children and carers, alongside the NSW Department of Family and Community Services administrative data, will also be reported on to examine the factors that influence the educational engagement and outcomes of children and young people in OOHC. Implications for policy and practice will briefly be outlined. Authors of this report include Dr Michelle Townsend and Dr Laura Robinson, University of Wollongong.


Michelle Townsend (Presenter), University of Wollongong
Dr Townsend is a Research Fellow at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders at the University of Wollongong. Dr Townsend’s research areas include the long-term outcomes from adverse childhood experiences and child and adolescent well-being particularly, in the areas of mental health, self-harm and education. Much of her current work is with NSW government department bringing together evidence based research to collaboratively improve outcomes for children and young people.