operational management skills

  1. What skills and experience will you bring to the role? Please include your operational management skills.

I think I need to refer to SoD and write specific to operational management skills examples here.

Where do I put about howe the social political environment will impact the way we work at ARL.  Do I put stuff here about the OIR, Safeguarding and Commission of Enquiry here and recommendations?


I have an extensive background in operational management and leadership across both non-government and government child safety and wellbeing protection services, and wouldI bring a comprehensive skill set and experience to the role of Statewide Manager – Children’s Advice and Referral Service. My career has spanned 17 years, deeply embedded in the commitment to the safety and wellbeing of families, women, and children.

I began my career in Western Australia (WA) at a women’s family violence refuge before transitioning to the Department for Child Protection (DCP) in the Kimberley. It has since evolved through significant Lleadership roles I have held include at, culminating at FVCSS, and currently atfrom Practice Leader at Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line (SFSK ARL). to my current substantive position as a Permanent Practice Manager.

I worked for more than eight years with DCP in seniorSenior positions I held at DCP and supervising staff. These positions had structured monitoring and accountability processes, where I reported toworked alongside Assistant District Directors and District Directors. Additionally, I established and managed DCP’s new Parent Support Program. Complex cases and scarce resources intensified my experience, and the interface between government requirements and community expectations meant my sound knowledge of legislative obligations and good rapport with community leadership ensured a successful implementation. I worked within a culturally competent framework, understanding the importance of past trauma, and of the diverse role of child rearing within the family and community.  Most importantly, I supported the employment of staff from the community in which I worked to ensure best practice and cultural competence was employed. How? Something about recruitment processes, establishment? Something to link to ARL Manager role?

After relocating to Tasmania, I began working at the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service (FVCSS), part of the Safe at Home Initiative, the Tasmanian Government’s integrated response to Family Violence. Whilst FVCSS Team Leader, I was responsible for supporting managed a team of eight full-time staff to deliver a statewide extended hours service, seven days a week.  Additionally, human resource management to support a team of specialist practitioners delivering a state-wide counselling service. I managedwas responsible for recruitment, inductions, supervision, exiting staff leaving, overseeing staff benefits, training and wellness programs, implementation of personnel policies, supporting career development and professional development, working through disciplinary actions, supporting staff to return to work, managing staff return to work plans, budget and and overseeing workplace, health and safety matters.  I supported the team by embedding started daily debriefing/check in/consultation, critical incident debriefing, individual and group supervision, group supervision, facilitating team management meetings and forward planning rostering. I was accountable for use of resources, networking, community education and providing advice to the state-wide manager (my line manager) for ministerial.  Of note, I wrote the Procedure for Managing referrals into the FVCSS, in order to develop consistency across the state.  Given very complex differences, I was required to use my good working relationships with the TL Management group to mediate and ensure an agreement was reached so as contemporary research from ANROWS was incorporated into the document to ensure best practice standards were implemented.

As a Practice Manager, I cCurrently support the Mission Teams and the CSLO’s statewide;. Practice Leaders with high level assessments, their decision making, and recommendations provided case direction.  The ARL Statewide Manager requests I take the lead with complex families, and where sensitivity and confidentiality must be upheld. I am currently supporting the ARL Statewide Manager with a complex case, where statewide managers from NDIS are involved and an MOU enacted. I am contributing to sensitive meetings with the NDIS  managers, and prepare by drafting curious questions utilising Signs of Safety to explore what their worries are, define expectations on how ARL can support the family, and carefully articulate why a CSS intervention would not be in the best interest of the child or the family.  I confidently articulate I have nil concerns for the parent’s parenting and reorient risk assessment and safety management processes on to the behaviours of the ex-partner (FV offender), rather than solely focusing on the protective strategies of the mother.

I provide the whole of ARL with a very specialised FV lens, and my extensive awareness of contemporary research and frameworks in both child protection and family violence. My well-developed assessment skills and practice is influenced by ANROWS, Signs of Safety and the Safe and Together models. I share this knowledge through supervision, SoS mapping, strategic and training planning, to better ensure a collaborative response to women/children victim-survivors and perpetrator accountability.

I share my assessment skills and extensive experience using the Signs of Safety (SoS) frameworks to support Practice Leaders and their teams. For example, facilitating mappings with families in Indigenous communities, in group supervision with DCP and ARL staff, (including appreciative inquiry), embedding the SoS principles in my communication and documentation, and utilising SoS to develop direction, manage differing opinions, and to make decisions with complex families.  I do this when referring families to the Child Safety Service, to ensure a family focused handover that highlights the strengths of the family. I have received positive feedback from CSS PL’s and my Practice Manager in regards to my ability to develop good working relationships and remain child focused in this space.

Additionally, I have trained DCP staff in SoS, and now offer ARL staff support and development in their SoS practice. I have extensive experience in the use of risk, safety, and wellbeing assessment tools and frameworks, such as the Wellbeing Assessment Tool, and child development and attachment theories. I role model a strength-based approach, to empower people and improve wellbeing; the systems/ecological approach to focus on the person not the problem; and crisis intervention, to understand the nature of crises, to focus on immediate concerns, short-term goals and solutions. And finally, the anti-oppressive model to emphasise inequality and the impact of marginalization; all provides me a useful overarching framework and core values in the social work profession.

I understand the importance of researching evidence-based practice where interventions can be correlated with outcomes. I am familiar with data collection applications and programs, an important part of analysing and evaluating outcomes, in order to improve practice, policy and service delivery.

I am often organically approached by the ARL State-wide Manager, Practice Managers, Practice Leaders, Liaisons, FVLO and CSWW’s to discuss their most complex families, especially where FV is the primary worry.  Additionally, I have worked with many colleagues across ARL to discuss FV offender profiles and how to engage FV offenders, to discuss short/long term impacts on the children and where to access behaviour change support.  The most contemporary research advises the need to direct conversations without shaming and primarily focusing on impact of FV on the child.

After requesting information around how often ARL was initiating contact with FV perpetrators, I found that not only was this not usual practice but additionally, staff felt both uncomfortable and ill-equipped to have these conversations.  Often the victim (woman) would be contacted; both her parenting capacity and protective behaviours questioned.  As contemporary research suggests, women are generally considered to be the primary caregiver for their children and responsible for health and wellbeing.  This social expectation creates a concurrent expectation that women deliver the conditions of safety needed to achieve these outcomes.  This is how blame for a child being unsafe can fall on a woman for “failing” to leave the relationship or protect the child, rather than on the perpetrator for using violent behaviour. This relieves the abusive partner of accountability for the effects of their behaviour on children. I support Practice leaders and staff to reorient responsibility and to have conversations with the offenders. I began by documenting on FVMS reports “if victim deems safe, contact the FV offender to discuss short/long term impacts of FV behaviour on the child” to remind staff of contact to the offender where appropriate.  This has increased perpetrator accountability and appropriate supports being offered to offenders (eg: referrals to Caring Dad’s).  PL’s and PM’s across the floor have adopted in their triaging as a best practice standard. Additionally, my Practice Manager has spoken with pride about the best practice approach in public forums, such as the Family and Sexual Violence Conference.



  1. Please describe your leadership approach, including how you will work with SFSK ARL staff and partners to improve outcomes for children and families?

As statewide manager I primarily would use the Collaborative Management framework (teamwork, mentoring, critical reflection, etc), and role model a respectful and collaborative leadership style. I have excellent communication and conflict resolution skills, utilised in Leadership meetings (both regional and state-wide) when needed. For example, I proactively explore and agree upon clear expectations with colleagues and staff. Defined expectations has led to an ease in leading challenging conversations. I have contributed to clear, documented expectations for the whole of ARL relating to staffing, service delivery, and the onboarding of new staff. I have received feedback that ARL staff feel safe to discuss their limitations with me, resulting in tailored professional development and more formal Work Support plans. Additionally, I have received positive feedback from current statewide manager on my focus of working collaboratively with colleagues, professional partners and the wider CSS staff.

Need to put the Campbelltown day in here with PPm’s and PM’s and statewide managers CSS/ARL day with PPMs and the new Framework, and the broader DECYP days we had at Mystate.  “As statewide manager I would continue to attend Statewide Practice and Reflection and Learning sessions with PPM’s and PM’s. When I attended last week, we looked at how to embed the Feel Safe, Are Safe: Our Practice Approach across CSS/ARL to ensure consistency and best practice across all teams.  This Practice Approach aligns with the ARL Practice Frameworks such as  the Wellbeing Framework, Signs of Safety and Safe and Together.”

Use a non-gov (MA and Baptcare) example where I have worked with non gov managers

Use example of how I have led the issue / conversation back to best interests of the child, underpinning goals of the child being known, safe, well, learning.

Use example of working on the roster for improved service delivery, working on Child Safeguarding and with Independent Regulator Director, and with WWVP liaison, the PBR work could be a good example

I use Trauma Informed leadership principles alongside an Affirmative management approach, so I utilise and provide regular debriefing, reflective practice and seek feedback and thoughts. I encourage Practice Managers, Practice Leaders and Liaisons to provide feedback and engage in idea creation, to better understand impacts and context. I have assisted PLs to identify their leadership style, to strengthen the PL team relationships, and have encouraged collaborative practice, by encouraging the development of team expectations and goals, with a solution focused lens.

In all of my employment I have provided professional supervision to staff using the P.A.S.E Model. I  create an environment where staff feel safe and respected as a first step in engaging them to examine their own practice methods, and to examine their strengths and limitations. I encourage staff to reflect on their approach using a curious enquiry approach. We need to understand our values, beliefs, and how past experiences can affect the way we work, and to develop emotional intelligence.

I understand from both research and my own experience of working in child protection across states and territories; child protection organisations face challenges around the delivery and management of services.  These include and are not limited to practice concerns; presentation of families with more complex risks and needs; the intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect; unstable OOHC placements, poor outcomes for care leavers; over-representation of Aboriginal children in statutory child protection; and insufficient capacity to meet the number and complexity of cases that require a statutory child protection response.

In order to develop real and sustained change, at SFSK ARL I lead practice that supports the principle of collective responsibility for protecting children extending to the wider community, opposed to responsibility sitting with Children and Youth Services.


  1. Which DECYP value resonates most with you and why? How will you provide support to the SFSK ARL team to develop and maintain a positive culture?


I could use an example of contributing to the Monthly Sharing of Success newsletter; working from both Carruthers and Wingfield;  regular provision of positive feedback both verbally and in writing especially for new staff to help with onboarding;  contribution to SW students and feedback into onboarding processes; ability to have open, honest conversations, being physically present, working with the leadership team on behaviour expectations and specific decision making guidance, e.g. how many staff can be off at any time, how many staff are needed to answer the phone, etc.

I could  talk about how we often receive feedback from co-locating professional partners and new and existing staff about how kind, welcoming and collaborative the current culture is, how I have contrinbuted to this (with some  ideas I put above?) and how you would keep this happening into the future.

Importance of recruitment, retention and support plans to make sure that we have the right people at ARL to positively impact on the culture.

Also, does change management  fit here, staff consultation?  but balance so over consultation does not occur.


The DECYP  values represent the foundation of our culture and must guide us in all that we do, whether interacting with colleagues, professional partners, families, children and/or young people. Following attendance at the DECYP management day, and listening to Tim Bullard talking about incorporating our DECYP values into our workplace, I feel inspired to continue this important work and would make it a priority as the Statewide Manager to ensure all values are embedded into the ARL.

I feel very committed to all of the DECYP values including; connection  (building positive relationships and a sense of belonging), courage (accepting challenges and embracing opportunities), growth (aspiring to learn, and improving, even when it’s hard), respect (caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment) and responsibility (stepping up and doing what’s right).

In the role of Statewide Manager, I feel the value of connection resonates with me the most. The feeling of connection builds a critical foundation of trust in which people feel they can have a voice and can make a difference. This is the best possible result for both leaders and employees, teams and organisations.  Building strong working relationships through genuine connection is one of my strengths.  I have always been committed to growing my connections with professional colleagues and partners, especially for when robust discussions are required, creating a space where differences of opinion and approaches, can be tolerated and respected.

As the statewide manager, I understand that community service organisations are affected by external influences such as changes in the political, social, and organisational environments.  Ensuring strong connection both with external  stakeholders and internally within the ARL, will assist with supporting both transitions and change. Most recently we went through the Commission of Enquiry resulting in recommendations for the CSS/ARL and ARL is currently going through a Review; both will need me to  support management of change, via established connectedness, trusting relationships and communication.

The increased professionalisation of welfare service delivery brought many changes to the way government services operate and the community expectations of how services are delivered. The more recent movement to privatisation of services means that non-government organisations have an increasing role and responsibility in service delivery. This expands the role of government agencies to work with and negotiate, form partnerships, and develop strong connections with the non-government sector. I have excellent experience in navigating this and contributing to a positive workplace culture through connecting and developing and role modelling good working relationships.  Given SFSK has Baptcare and Mission teams, and encourages colocation of other services also, it will be important that as statewide manager, I ensure these relationships are strong and connected.

I am cognisant that these connections will directly impact on the workplace culture in the ARL.  When employees are encouraged to connect, communicate and collaborate, this leads to an increase in staff wellbeing and resilience. It also has a positive impact on the establishment such as recruitment, retention, workflow and overall performance of the organisation.  As statewide manager I will show commitment to further developing a positive workplace culture via connection and collaboration.  Staff will work better and more collaboratively if they feel that they are connected  to a team in approach, not in name only. I would demand professionalism and respect, adherence to agency requirements and responsibilities, and ensure that all staff are working together for effective service delivery.  If staff can see that service delivery is effective they will be encouraged to be more involved and productive.

As statewide manager and on a more practical level, I would ensure that I am approachable and available to the ARL management team and discuss practice issues and concerns and help them develop a more critical and reflective way of thinking.  I would help them develop and expand their goals both within their day-to-day work and their future professional lives.  I would ensure that staff feel that that are being heard.  I would do this by continuing to facilitate the Monthly Operations Meeting (PM’s, Non Gov Statewide Manager), Monthly Practice Management Meetings, ARL statewide Management Meetings, Liaison Group Supervisions, so all staff can have an input into agendas and discussion, and provide feedback about their ideas and views, which can then be linked back to the ARL strategic planning.  More broadly, I will commit to working fulltime hours for the 6 month period and be visible on the wider ARL floor, dedicating nominated times to ensure both Curruthers and Wingfield are aware of my presence.


  • ARL Review Project – Managing any staff anxiety, working with external and internal stakeholders to determine future needs of the service.
  • As statewide manager I would continue to attend Statewide Practice and Reflection and Learning sessions with PPM’s and PM’s. When I attended last week, we looked at how to embed the Feel Safe, Are Safe: Our Practice Approach across CSS/ARL to ensure consistency and best practice across all teams. This Practice Approach aligns with the ARL Practice Frameworks such as  the Wellbeing Framework, Signs of Safety and Safe and Together.
  • BOPS Project – Consideration to staff feedback, and of evaluation measures during trial period. E.g. analysis of phone data
  • Monthly Ops Meetings
  • Family and Sexual Violence Liaison Project Steering Committee Statewide manager requesting I attend as her proxy
  • Accommodation over two sites and new site in Cambridge – If Cambridge hasn’t been mentioned to you by Georgie, I would leave the new site comment out and instead say you would prioritise engaging with relevant stakeholders to communicate what is working and concerns based on staff feedback and observations with two accommodation sites
  • Union
  • CSS Directors
  • Establishment

o             Recruitment

o             Gov/Non Gov Partners

o             Vacancies

o             Who goes where?

  • My supervision with Georgie CSLO meeting with Gretchen and Tamika (Discipline Lead & Clinical Lead at the RHH) – to discuss extra CSLO position and if they would like to assist with funding Discussed what we are wanting out of the meeting. Claire feels that Tamika seems keen to collaborate with us.  Georgie pondering on funding between services for additional CSLO to support/promote education with SW team and general around mandatory reporting. Claire has questions around what RHH see as the gaps, what an additional role could/would do for them.  Claire has booked in meeting and will do this together with Tamika.  Statewide manager requesting I set up the meeting and lead
  • My supervision with Georgie – Discussed EOI for few weeks until Andrew Returns (Monday 18/03/2024) Claudia (21-25 March 2024). Discussed and realised we have run out of time on this for an EOI.  Discussed plans for Andrew’s two weeks leave in May and that will look to progress EOI for this – plan to get this out around week of 8th April or just after.  Discussed what this looks like and Claire keen to write this.  Happy for Claire to have a go at doing this and manage this process if she has capacity.  Claire will work on EOI as per previous examples and send to Georgie for review and be ready for this time period. Statewide manager requesting I put out the EOI and manage this process.
  • Connection – building positive relationships and a sense of belonging.
  • Courage – accepting challenges and embracing opportunities.
  • Growth – aspiring to learn, and improving, even when it’s hard.
  • Respect – caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment.
  • Responsibility – stepping up and doing what’s right.
  • Our values represent the foundation of our department’s culture and must guide us in all that we do. They have been decided by us, and we are all responsible for embedding them in our ways of working.Work will start to embed these values in early 2024. This work will be led by Culture and Growth and will be done in collaboration with teams to ensure you receive the supports you need. We are going to take the time to get this right and work together to build a values-based culture that supports our children and young people to have bright lives and positive futures.


Currently, as a Permanent Practice Manager at the Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line (SFSK, ARL), I oversee two Practice Leaders, hospital and family law court liaison officers statewide. My role extends beyond developing practice and supervising teams to acting as a proxy for the statewide Manager, underscoring my trusted position in facilitating meetings and decision-making processes. My career reflects a deep commitment to child protection, family support, and the integration of cultural competence and best practices across diverse settings.