• Social work department research vision

    To improve psychosocial health and well being outcomes for infants, children, adolescents and their families through practice based research and evaluation projects in paediatric hospital social work practice.


    The aim of the RCH Social Work Department research program is to promote inquiry and reflective practice and to provide the evidence base for social work practice to ensure better outcomes for patients and their families. 


    • To develop an evidence base of the psychological and social experience of hospital patients and families
    • To contribute to the literature on health and welfare issues effecting infants, children, young people and their family
    • To develop and evaluate innovative and effective social work clinical practice interventions to assist patients and their families.
    • Ensuring clinical care in hospital supports infants', children's and adolescents' healthy emotional and social development and relationships.

    The social work department may be engaged in research at the RCH in the following ways:

    • Be asked to provide a clinical service or collect data as part of a colleagues project
    • May be asked to participate as a co investigator on a colleagues project
    • Wish to undertake a project to fulfil requirements of a university higher degree
    • Wish to undertake a research project to answer a clinical /service delivery question that has arisen out of practice.
    • Be part of multidisciplinary research or evaluation project

    Recent projects

    • Children and parents experiencing cumulative stress and trauma: a feasibility and acceptability study of a model of enhanced intervention in an acute paediatric health setting
      Nicole Tokatlian, Brigid Jordan*, Cathy Humphreys, Anne Smith, Nicola Watt, Judith Sloan, Lionel Lubitz, Sarah Connolly
    • The psychosocial determinants of health of infants and young children with CF
      Brigid Jordan*, Jane Sheehan, Vicki Anderson, John Massie, Tonia Douglas, Lyn Priddis, Linda Shields
    • Emotional health and wellbeing of mothers and infants presenting to the Emergency Department in a tertiary hospital
    • Amanda Stock, Lynda Chin, Franz Babl, Catherine Bevan, Susan Donath, Brigid Jordan*
    • The emotional and social burden of caring for a young child with complex health needs
      Bronwyn Wigg, Brigid Jordan*, Peter Anderson, Linda Johnston, Rod Hunt, Lou Harms, Cheryl Evans
    • Family intervention following paediatric traumatic brain injury
      Lyndal Hickey*, Jane Galvin, Vicki Anderson, Brigid Jordan*
    • Experimental evaluation of EYEP: Is the Early Years Education Program for vulnerable children a net benefit to society?  Randomised controlled trial of Early Years Education and Care intervention
      Brigid Jordan*, Jeff Borland, Yi Ping Tseng, Anne Kennedy, Nichola Coombs, Janet Williams-Smith, Kate Cotter, Alice Hill
    • Developing an acute psychosocial care model for families of seriously ill children in a paediatric emergency setting
      Alys Manguy*
    • A study of how paediatric social workers at the RCH sustain their bereavement practice
      Robyn Clark*

    * Key Social Work Department contact for project

    Completed projects 

    • Five challenges to ethical communication for interprofessional paediatric practice: A social work perspective
      Clare Delany, Angela Richards, Helen Stewart, Lauren Kosta
    • Psychosocial needs assessment of primary school aged children with Prader Willi Syndrome and their families’ 
      Zoe Bordon, Nicola Watt*
    • An exploratory study of the psychosocial services offered to children and their families admitted to an acute paediatric hospital following a transport accident
      Alys Manguy*, Lynette Joubert
    • From colonization to conciliation
      Judith Sloan*, Louise Harms, Angela Clarke, Ian Anderson, John Whyte, Gary Anderson, Suzanne Cross, Nicola Watt, Shawana Andrews
    • The impact of cardiac surgery on the infant and their family
      Brigid Jordan*, Candice Franich Ray, Vicki Anderson, Elisabeth Northam, Andrew Cochrane, Samuel Menahem
    • Evaluation of Prader Willi parent-infant education group
      Nicola Watt*, Elizabeth Loughlin
    • Fathers' experience of neonatal intensive care
      Natalie Beattie, Brigid Jordan*, Lynette Joubert
    • An exploration of bereaved parents' experience of autopsy
      Jane Sullivan
    • The impact of caring for a child with an acquired brain injury on care-giving members of a family
      Bridie Keating, Lyndal Hickey*, Meisha Clark, Louise Harms
    • A description of the presentation and outcome of infants who present to RCH Emergency Department with crying and/or feeding problems
      Brigid Jordan*, Ines Said, Penny Moody, Ed Oakley
    • The experience of culturally and linguistically diverse families with a child receiving treatment from the Children's Cancer Centre, Royal Children's Hospital
      Helen Stewart*, Nicole Tokatlian, Nadia Albert, Lynette Joubert, Heidi Jurisch, Kathryn Le Maistre, Najat Maroki, Julie Mogan, Jeni Moodie, Silvio Proy, Lisa Orme, Liz Wynne
    • Brain tumour: Child and family impact study
      Alun Jackson, Maree O'Toole, Jane Miller, Kate Enderby, Menka Marks, S. Gregory, David Ashley, Helen Stewart*, Nicole Tokatlian
    • An exploration of the emotional and psychosocial experience of chronic gastro intestinal disease for infants in the first four years of life and their families
      Nikhil Pooviah, Campbell Paul, Brigid Jordan*, Winita Hardikar, Julie Bines, Anthony Catto-Smith
    • The treatment of persistent irritability in infants: A randomised controlled trial comparing anti reflux medication with an infant mental health intervention
      Brigid Jordan*, Michelle Meehan, Ralf Heine, Lionel Lubitz, Anthony Catto-Smith
    • Audit of record of Semi-Structured Clinical Social Work Interview with parents of an infant with indeterminate sex
      Elizabeth Loughlin, Judith Sloan*
    • Life after colic: The longer term outcome of infants admitted to hospital with persistent irritability
      Mary Brown, Brigid Jordan*, Ralf Heine
    • Infant sleep and settling strategies: addressing controversies and evaluating evidence to inform a universal prevention trial
      Jane Fisher, Heather Rowe, Harriet Hiscock, Jordana Bayer, Anne Colahan, Brigid Jordan*, Vivienne Amery
    • Understanding Babies: Infants' social and emotional well-being when mothers have a mental health diagnosis
      Lisa Bolger, Brigid Jordan*
    • Infant social and emotional health: A study in an Early Parenting Centre.
      Patricia Mundy Withers, Brigid Jordan*
    • A descriptive analysis of psychosocial factors associated with frequently readmitted paediatric patients diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
      D Nilsson
    • Parents experience of bereavement group program
      M O'Toole, J Sullivan
    • Craniopharyngioma Child and Family Impact Study
      A Jackson, H Goodman, B Johnson, M Tsantefski
    • Social Work Discharge Planning in Complex Paediatric Cases
      A Jackson, B Johnson, M O'Toole
    • Complex Case Management/Discharge Planning (Phase 1)
      A Jackson, J Badger, M O'Toole
    • Hospital Program - Early Intervention in Child Protection matters
      H Goodman, J Miller
    • The Experience in Dance Movement of Three Individual Women with Turner Syndrome
      E Loughlin
    • A Descriptive Analysis of Psychosocial Factors Associated with Frequently Readmitted Paediatric Patients Diagnosed with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
      D Nilssont