Women sought for research

Women sought for research

15 Dec 2010

Bendigo local and La Trobe University PhD student Kathy Mendis wants to hear from women who have succeeded against adversity.

Graduation hat on booksMs Mendis is keen to speak to women who have experienced different forms of out-of-home or statutory care, but have still managed to successfully complete a university degree.

‘As a social worker I have seen many children who have been in and out of foster homes, or those who have been abused or neglected and haven’t had the stability of staying in one place.

‘I am looking for 20 Victorian women who have been in out-of-home care past the age of seven for a period of two years or longer or who can remember their care experience well,’ Ms Mendis said.  

‘I’d like to find out what helped them become successful university graduates.’  

Ms Mendis says being placed in statutory care can have damaging long-term outcomes if the child has not experienced a stable environment.

Over the past decade the number of children removed from their homes has more than doubled.  In 2008, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported over 31,000 young people were placed in out-of-home care due to neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse or family conflict.

While the impact on education can be particularly damaging many children who have experienced out-of-home care have managed to graduate with a university degree.

She says she is hopeful that her research will highlight what it is that has helped these women succeed in spite of their difficult circumstances and that this, in turn, will help other women in similar situations.

Ms Mendis is planning to interview participants over the phone or face to face in a comfortable setting.

She is aiming to complete her study by 2012 and invites women interested in participating in the study to call her on (03) 5444 7326 or email at k.mendis@latrobe.edu.au with the subject line ‘tracing the pathways to graduation study.’


Issued by
Zerin Knight, T (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E z.knight@latrobe.edu.au

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