Research and Evaluation

Mission and Vision

Wanslea has a strong commitment to research and evaluation, so that we and the families we work with, can be sure that the services are effective.  Our goal is to strategically position Wanslea as a leader in research and evaluation in the human services sector in Western Australia.

Our vision for Research and Evaluation at Wanslea:

  • Wanslea is identified as an organisation that uses, implements, develops and builds evidence-based practice
  • Wanslea provides best practice services to the children and families it works with, seeking and building evidence where there are gaps
  • All Wanslea practitioners are able to access and assess best quality research and evidence to inform their work

We have a research strategy in place, covering priority areas, current and future projects, research partnerships, and the ethics and principles on which our work is based.

Wanslea Research Strategy 2014 - 2017

An exciting development in research and evaluation was the launch of the Wanslea Research Strategy in 2014.  The strategy sets out Wanslea's research aims, objectives and plans for the next three years.

click here to view our Research Strategy.  For any additional information, contact Stephan Lund (08) 9245 2441 

Research News

In December 2016 Wanslea was awarded a research grant from Lotterywest to undertake research with grandparents who have full-time care of their grandchildren. The purpose of the research is to inform advocacy, policy and service development for all WA grandparent carers. The aims of the proposed study are to:

i.   develop an understanding of the daily lived experiences of WA grandparent carers
ii.  assess the implications of these experiences for their health, economic and social well-being
iii. assess the service and policy implications of the above - both existing frameworks, accessibility and informing change
iv. assess the shared and different experiences of formal and informal grandparent carers across aims i - iii
v.  access the voice of children being cared for by their grandparents to develop a further understanding of growing up in this family type

The research will be undertaken in partnership with Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, and the University of Western Australia and guided by the Grandcare Research Advisory Group.


Current Research Projects

  • Implementation of a Practice Framework in Family Services
  • The needs of Grandparents who care full-time for their grandchildren
  • Wanslea Early Learning and Development, Developing Research Capacity and Culture, in partnership with the School of Education, Curtin University 
  • The Voice of Children in Reunification Practice, funded by an AASW Research Practitioner Grant

Current Evaluations

  • Indigenous Parenting Services, Great Southern Region
  • Supported Playgroups, Great Southern Region
  • CQI Evaluation, Family Services
  • Child Parent Centres, Evaluation Reference Group

Completed Projects

Family, Fun and Learning: a supported playgroup for migrant families in the Great Southern
An evaluation of the above program was submitted to the Expert Panel, Child Family Community Australia and assessed as an evidence based program in 2016. Family, Fun and Learning aims to strengthen relationships, support families, improve children’s wellbeing and increase participation in community life to strengthen family and community functioning, and reduce the amount of family breakdown. A supported playgroup, the service is aimed at refugee and humanitarian entrant families living in Katanning. The evaluation demonstrated that children attending met or made progress towards their developmental outcomes, and their school readiness supported. There were improvements in English for both parents and children, while parents experience expanding social networks and better links to community services.

Find and Connect
Implementation of a data base for locating client’s historical records. Records for Wanslea date back to the 1940s with the Florence Hummerston collection in the Battye Library through to account and admission books and child records from the 1970s-1980s. If you have been in Wanslea care and would like to access your records please or email us.

Delegated Case Management Pilot
Completed in partnership with Department for Child Protection and Family Support in 2015

Grandcarers Support Scheme
An evaluation of the pilot of the scheme was completed in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities in 2015

Resources for biological children of foster carers
Wanslea has developed innovative resources to support the biological children of foster carers.  These resources are intended to be used to assist foster families to better make sense of fostering and to ensure that their own children understand what to expect from the various phases of fostering.

The resources comprise:
I live here too – two interactive books with cards, for children: 
‘Rosie’s story’ - for 5 – 10 year olds 
‘Jay’s story’ - for 11 – 16 year olds 
Fostering together – A guide to supporting children of foster carers - Booklet for foster carers and service providers 
Fostering together - Biological children of foster carers speak up. DVD - children’s views on fostering 
These resources come together as a package and are available for only: 
$75 (inc GST) plus shipping  -  click here  to dowload the Fostering together resources order form




Terry, J. 2013. “The Child in Sight, in Mind and Right in the Centre: child-centred, family inclusive practice in Reunification”, Developing Practice, no.36 Spring
Targowska, A., Cavazzi, T and Lund, S. 2016. “Fostering Together-The Why and How of Involving and Supporting Biological Children of Foster Carers”, Children Australia, Vol.41(1)

Dixon, P. 2016. “Organisational leadership and the implementation of a new Practice Framework”, AASW National Bulletin, Vol.25(4), available here

Wanslea practitioners present regularly at national and international conferences with representation from Family Services, Out of Home Care and Wanslea Early Learning and Development.


For more information please contact the Coordinator Research and Evaluation on 9245 2441 or email us