Research webinar: The criminalisation of children in care in England/Wales, New South Wales, and Victoria


The reality that many children are criminalised whilst growing up in Out-of-Home Care (OOHC), particularly residential care, is well-established. This is the case, both in Australia and internationally. While there is research evidence identifying risk factors which lead to children in care becoming involved with youth justice, there has been less attention to understanding sentencing determinations when those children and young people (once they have reached the age of 18) appear before criminal courts.
Join Dr Claire Paterson-Young (Institute for Social Innovation and Impact, University of Northampton, UK), Dr Tatiana Corrales (Health and Social Care Unit, Monash University), Dr Ian Warren (Department of Criminology, Deakin University),  and Dr Patricia McNamara (Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne) as they present preliminary findings from their ground-breaking cross-national research exploring the processes of criminalisation of children in OOHC.
The webinar includes a presentation by the research team followed by the opportunity for participants to engage in a Q&A with the researchers. 
Overview of study
Data has been collected via in-depth interviews with 28 professionals (n=11 in England/Wales and n=17 in NSW and Victoria), including youth justice practitioners, child protection and youth crime lawyers, magistrates, judges, and children’s advocates. The webinar will focus on the complex interactions that occur across multiple systems. The research focusses especially on the impact of these interactions when children are dual-system involved, in both the OOHC and youth justice systems.
The findings touch on issues associated with the way trauma and its impacts are understood within the criminal-legal system. The research team will also share their learnings about the processes that contribute to the criminalisation of children in OOHC (particularly residential care). The complex challenges experienced across the criminal, legal, child protection and OOHC systems in supporting these children feature prominently in research findings. The research highlights how these interactions reflect an overarching absence of systemic trauma-informed approaches, and the impacts of this on dual-system involved children.
Without exception, the research participants have reflected deeply on what facilitates and constrains existing best practice. They also share suggestions for innovation that could potentially make powerful differences in the lives of these children and young people.
This webinar will provide a valuable new perspective on some of the pervasive issues that result in the criminalisation of some of our most vulnerable children.

Panel Members
Dr Claire Paterson-Young
 (BA MSc PhD) is an Associate Professor & Research Leader at the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) at Northampton University (UK). She specializes in youth justice, social innovation, social impact, ethics and participatory research. She has over 15 years practice and management experience in safeguarding, child sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual violence, youth and restorative justice. She consults nationally with local authorities, police forces and national organisations to develop child sexual exploitation services. Claire is a member of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Ethics Committee, Health and Research Association Research Ethics Committee and the University of Northampton’s Research Ethics Committee. She is a trustee of the National Association for Youth Justice (NAYJ) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). 

Dr Tatiana Corrales is a Research Fellow at the Health and Social Care Unit in the Faculty of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne. Her research is centred on the intersection of child protection and criminal justice among pregnant women/mothers, as well as children and young people in the Out-of-Home Care system. She works closely with industry partners in the out-of-home care sector to help build the evidence-base in support of therapeutic models of care, particularly for children living in residential/ congregate care settings.
Dr Ian Warren is a senior lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria. His research involves the use of critical criminological approaches to applied legal problems, and covers the fields of children and young people and the criminal law, transnational criminal procedure, extradition, and drug control. He has published widely on these topics in criminological and socio-legal journals.
Dr Patricia McNamara is a Senior Fellow (Hon) in Social Work at the University of Melbourne. She is an experienced social worker and family therapist. Patricia has also practiced as a teaching and research academic in social work for many years. Her current research interests include a range of issues impacting children and young people growing up in out of home care. In addition to sentencing of care experienced children, these include therapeutic approaches to residential and foster care, education outcomes and partnering with families involved in the care system. 

Please note: all course and workshop times are displayed in Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra time zone. Please ensure you convert the time to your current time zone. All workshop payments must be made by credit card. Invoicing is only available for group bookings of 5 or more for the same workshop date. Contact us through cetc@childhood.org.au for group bookings.

Target Audience

This webinar will be of interest to a broad range of professionals interested in the criminalisation of children in care, including youth justice workers, legal professionals, social workers, residential care workers and policymakers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a greater understanding of the way child protection, OOHC and the criminal-legal system interact to impact the criminalisation of children in OOHC
  • The challenges experienced by actors across multiple systems in providing therapeutic and trauma-informed interventions to dual-system involved children
  • Examples of innovative practice and possible areas for change to better support dual-system involved children

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