Preventing placement breakdown and promoting stability in out-of-home care

Preventing placement breakdown and promoting stability in out-of-home care

Wade Mahoney, Stacy Blythe and Greg Antcliff
22 September 2021

This webinar will explore what ‘stability’ means in out-of-home care and offer strategies for achieving positive outcomes for children and carers.

A father is asking his oldest son to join the family in the photo but he is not in the mood for that.

This webinar was held on Wednesday, 22 September 2021. Please post your questions and comments below.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, will be published soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive a notification when these resources are available.

Placement stability is a critical objective for child and family welfare services and is associated with better outcomes for children in care. The number of times a child moves placements can be a useful measure of stability; however, this measure is also limited and sometimes moves are in the child’s best interest, such as a move to kinship care.

This webinar explored the concept of stability and offer strategies for achieving positive outcomes for children and young people in care. Specifically, it:

  • Summarise the evidence on factors influencing placement moves
  • Outline strategies for identifying and preventing placement breakdown
  • Explore how supporting carers can promote stability for children in care.

This webinar is of interest to professionals working with young people across out-of-home care, housing, mental health, education and other child, youth and family services.

Related resources

Featured image: © GettyImages/Sneksy

About the presenters

Wade Mahoney

Wade Mahoney is a Barkindji man originally from Broken Hill, who has been living on Wannaruah land in the upper region of the Hunter Valley in NSW with his family for the past 18 years. Wade has worked within the child protection and out-of-home care (OOHC) sector for almost 24 years and is currently the Operations Manager of the Permanency Support Program for an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation called Wandiyali in the Newcastle area. Wade’s previous experience includes frontline child protection and OOHC casework, managing child protection and OOHC teams for the NSW Department of Community Services, establishing and developing an intensive family-based service, working as a NSW statewide capacity-building practitioner for AbSEC and as National Practice Advisor-Reconciliation and Child and Family for Life Without Barriers, as well as training and staff development for various non-government services providers nationally. Wade’s focus and passion has always been to support practitioners to be their best selves while remaining focused on the child’s experience of the care sector. Wade is often heard saying to caseworkers and managers, ‘As adults we can change careers, our workplaces or our lives as many times as we choose before it all ends, but our kids only get one chance at being kids. Our role is to help them to create memories worth sharing when they are adults.’

Stacy Blythe

Dr Stacy Blythe is a Registered Nurse and a Research Academic. Her research focuses on the health and well-being of children in out-of-home care and their families (both birth and foster families). As a lecturer in Infant Mental Health, she is particularly interested in infants who are prenatally exposed to harmful substances (e.g. illicit drugs). In addition to her nursing, teaching and research qualifications, Stacy has post-graduate certification in Developmental Trauma. Stacy has also been an authorised foster carer for 16+ years. Drawing on her skills as a nurse, knowledge as a researcher and experience as a carer, Stacy provides training to health care workers, social service providers and foster carers in relation to working with children who have prenatal substance exposure and/or have experienced trauma.

Greg Antcliff

Greg Antcliff is a registered psychologist and has held senior executive roles for over 20 years in the not-for-profit sector, establishing himself as an expert in the fields of child protection and out-of-home care; early childhood education; early intervention and prevention; and disability services (residential and community program). As the National Principal Practitioner, Child Youth & Family at Life without Barriers, Greg leads organisational practice strategy to deliver high quality services by translating evidence into daily practice. Greg is driven by ensuring services are evidence-based and of high quality, with a strong interest in using and developing the common elements approach to practice to design intervention approaches matched to the needs of population groups. To translate research into practice Greg has applied Implementation Science frameworks to large-scale practice transformation projects and is interested in the development and utilisation of video feedback techniques for online teaching and coaching as cost-effective ways to increase the chance of translating research to practice. 


this is relevant to my role as Kinship support worker in DCP
megan baverstock

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