DSI Distinguished Speaker Series - Stephanie Taplin

Thursday 13 May 2021, 12:00pm to 1:30pm

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Event Details

Stephanie Taplin will talk on the subject of challenges in conducting an randomised control trial in the child welfare sector. The talk will be chaired by Karen Broadhurst.

Stephanie Taplin will talk on the subject of challenges in conducting a randomised control trial in the child welfare sector

Challenges in conducting an RCT in the child welfare sector

Conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in the child welfare field is not without its challenges. This talk will describe how we developed and trialled the kContact intervention to support contact between parents and their children in care (2014-19). This cluster RCT was conducted in accordance with the CONSORT guidelines in 15 sites in three Australian jurisdictions with different legislation and practices, necessitating different ethics approvals. Informed consent where the State had parental responsibility, access to participants (parents, carers, workers) via gatekeepers on two occasions, maintaining fidelity of the intervention with workers, and publishing when a positive result in the main outcome was not found were some of the challenges faced. However, the trial reported significant positive findings, demonstrates the benefits of the intervention in providing support to parents for contact, and provides an important contribution to an area where few RCTs have been completed.

This is one of the few examples, internationally, of using an RCT to examine interventions to improve the quality and consistency of contact between children in care and their parents.


Associate Professor Stephanie Taplin completed her PhD in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney in 2000. She has been employed at the Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) since 2012, and a research academic since 2008, after working as a researcher in government.

Professor Taplin’s work aligns closely with work of the Data Science Institute and Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University. Unfortunately, a planned extended visit in 2020 was cancelled due to COVID. She remains keen to work together to share knowledge and contribute via presentations, journal articles and grant ideas.

Contact Details

Name Julia Carradus