The Southern Child and Family Clinic, officially opened this week on the Flinders University campus, will assist the Department of Family and Communities (DFC) in its child protection role while contributing to the training and experience of postgraduate psychology students at Flinders.
DFC’s director of Statewide Services, Nancy Penna, said the new clinic will boost the Department’s capacity and lead to increased recruiting of better qualified psychologists in the future.
“These post graduate students will, under supervision, expand DFC’s ability to assist children and young people who have suffered, or are at risk of, abuse and neglect in the southern suburbs,” Ms Penna said.
“The joint Flinders-DFC clinic means expanded psychological services and more effective services in the southern suburbs for DFC clients.”
Postgraduate students will provide expert assessments of children/young people and their families who have come to the attention of the Department, as well as providing recommendations about contact visits, family reunification and foster care placements. Some therapeutic counselling will also be provided.
Professor Tracey Wade, Director of the Clinical Psychology Program at Flinders, said the clinic would have short-term and long-term benefits for clinical psychology graduates, as well as DFC and the southern region.
“Not only does the Clinic help FSA deliver a more timely assessment service for these children and families, but it offers the postgraduate Psychology students a chance to gain experience across the wide range of services offered by DFC-Families SA, in an area that is sometimes hard to access for training,” Professor Wade said.
“This supportive training environment will produce high quality trainees who will be valuable future employees of DFC-Families SA.
“It is a truly collaborative venture.”
The Southern Child and Family Clinic will operate for two-and-a-half days a week. The Clinic’s newly appointed director, Ms Shelley-Anne Ball, will supervise the postgraduate students who will provide services at the clinic as part of practical requirements for their clinical psychology course.