Professor Patricia McNamaraAcademic, Social Work & Social Policy
Dr Patricia McNamara practiced for many years as a social worker and family therapist in child and family welfare and mental health. She is also a qualified and experienced secondary teacher. Patricia now works as an academic in the Department of Social Work and Social Policy at La Trobe University's Melbourne Campus. She has taught direct practice of social work, introduction to counselling skills and social diversity at undergraduate levels for many years in a range of tertiary education settings. Over recent years she has also taught leadership to managers in child and family welfare and child protection. Along with her team she was recently awarded an Excellence in Teaching Citation award by the Faculty of Health Sciences. Her current research interests include therapeutic fostering and residential care, pathways to tertiary education from out-of-home care, youth homelessness and respite foster care for children and families. Patricia conducted the first long term Australian follow-up with young people formerly resident in an adolescent psychiatric milieu. She also evaluated a staff support and supervision program for residential youth justice. That program is now operating successfully in all facilities across the Australian State of Victoria. Patricia is a foundation Board Member of the International Association for Outcome Based Evaluation and Research in Family and Children's Services (iaOBERfcs). Together with iaOBERfcs colleagues, Patricia has published and presented internationally on family support outcomes, therapeutic foster and residential care, respite foster care, child poverty and responses to staff trauma.