Staff Directory

Professor Debbie Plath Name: Professor Debbie Plath
Professor and Head of Discipline (Social Work), SOAH Strathfield
Phone
+612 9701 4757
Organisational Area
Faculty of Health Sciences
Department
National School of Allied Health
Location
Strathfield
Building 611- Mullen Building (25A Barker Road, Strathfield NSW 2135)-Level 1-Room 611.1.14
Biographical Information

BA, BSW(hons), Dip Lang, MSW, PhD

Professor Debbie Plath commenced as Head of Social Work Discipline at the Australian Catholic University in February 2018. She brings experience in social work practice, education and research, with particular interest in strengthening links between research and practice in social work. She has published widely on approaches to evidence-informed practice in social work, most recently with the book Engaging Human Services with Evidence-Informed Practice (2017, NASW Press). Debbie's approach focuses on the interconnections between research knowledge, relationship building and critical reflection for effective social work practice and the organisational processes required to sustain a research-informed approach to practice. Professor Plath previously held senior academic positions in social work at the University of Newcastle and Western Sydney University. Building on her earlier experience as a social work practitioner, Debbie also worked for a number of years as a consultant to human service organisations, working to strengthen evidence-informed approaches to practice through research, evaluation and organisational development projects.  She has a good understanding of key policy, practice and organisational issues currently encountered in the human services sector, which forms the basis of collaborative research partnerships with community and government organisations. 

Publications

Books: 

Plath, D. (2017). Engaging Human Services with Evidence-Informed Practice, Washington, NASW Press.

Gray, M., Plath, D. & Webb, S. (2009). Evidence-based Social Work: A Critical Stance, London, Routledge.

Chapters & Journal articles:

Plath, D. (2018). School-based program for young children with disruptive behaviours: Two-year follow-up, Children Australia. Online publication in 30 January, 2018. doi:10.1017/cha.2018.2

Plath, D., Crofts, P. & Stuart, G. (2016). Engaging Families in Early Intervention for Child Conduct Concerns. Children Australia, 41 (1): 49-58.

Plath, D., Williams, L. & Wood, C. (2016). Clinicians&rsquo views on parental involvement in the treatment of adolescent Anorexia Nervosa, Eating Disorders. 24 (5): 393-411.

Plath, D. (2016). Evidence Discovery and Assessment in Social Work Practice, Australian Social Work. 69 (3): 382-383.

Plath, D., Croce, N., Crofts, P. & Stuart, G. (2016). Outcomes of a school-based program for young children with disruptive behaviors. Children & Schools, 38 (1): 9-19.

Gray, M., Joy, E., Plath, D. & Webb, S. (2015). What supports and impedes evidence-based practice implementation? A survey of Australian social workers, British Journal of Social Work. 45 (2): 667-684.

Fawcett, B. & Plath, D. (2014). A National Disability Insurance Scheme: What Social Work has to offer, British Journal of Social Work, 44 (3): 747-762.

Gray, M., Joy, E., Plath, D. & Webb, S. (2014). Opinions about evidence: A study of social workers&rsquo attitudes towards evidence-based practice, Journal of Social Work, 14 (1): 23-40.

Plath, D. (2014). Implementing Evidence-Based Practice: An Organisational Perspective, British Journal of Social Work, 44 (4): 905-923.

Gray, M., Joy, E., Plath, D. & Webb, S. (2013). Implementing Evidence-Based Practice: A Review of the Empirical Research Literature, Research on Social Work Practice, 23 (2): 157-166.

Plath, D. (2013). Evidence-based Practice, chapter 19 in M. Gray & S. Webb (Eds.) Social Work Theories and Methods, 2nd Edition, London, Sage.

Plath, D. (2013). Support for evidence-based practice in a human service organisation, Administration in Social Work, 37 (1): 25-38.

Plath, D. (2013). Organisational processes supporting evidence-based practice, Administration in Social Work, 37 (2):171-188.

Gibbons, J. & Plath, D. (2012). Single Session Social Work in Hospitals, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 33 (1): 39-53.

Hart, V. & Plath, D. (2011). Egg Donor Wanted: Social Work with women looking for an egg donor, Australian Social Work, 64(4): 515-525.

Plath, D. (2010). Social Work Capacity Building in the Maldives, chapter 18 in S. Stanley (Ed.) Social Work Education in Countries of the East: Issues and Challenges, New York, Nova.

Plath, D. & Gibbons, J. (2010). Discoveries on a data-mining expedition: Single session social work in hospitals, Social Work in Health Care, 49(8): 703-717.

Gibbons, J. & Plath, D. (2009). Single Contacts with Hospital Social Workers: the Clients&rsquo Experiences, Social Work in Health Care, 48(8): 721-735. 

Gray, M., Plath, D. & Webb, S. (2009). Evidence-based Social Work: A Critical Stance, London, Routledge.

Plath, D. (2009). International Policy Perspectives on Independence in Old Age, Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 21(2): 209 &ndash 223.

Plath, D. (2009). Evidence-based Practice, chapter 16 in M. Gray & S. Webb (eds) Social Work Theories and Methods, London, Sage.

Plath, D. (2008). Supporting Women after Domestic Violence, Australian Social Work, 61(3): 291-292.

Plath, D. (2008). Independence in Old Age: The Route to Social Exclusion? British Journal of Social Work, 38(7): 1353-1369.

Plath, D. (2006). Evidence Based Practice: Current Issues and Future Directions, Australian Social Work 59(1): 56-72.

Gibbons, J. & Plath, D. (2005). Everybody puts a lot into it! Single Session Contacts in Hospital Social Work, Social Work in Health Care, 42 (1): 17-34. 

Plath, D. (2003). An Experience Based Model for Practice Teaching: International Perspective from Australia, The Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work, 5(1):23-38.     

Plath, D. (2002). Independence in Old Age: Shifting Meanings in Australian Social Policy, Just Policy, No.26: 40-47.

Plath, D. (2002). Engaging students' interest in tertiary learning: an experienced based model of social work education, Proceedings of the 6th Pacific Rim, First Year in Higher Education Conference. Changing Agendas: Te Ao Hurihuri. The University of Christchurch, New Zealand 8-10 July, 2002. Brisbane, Queensland University of Technology.

Plath, D., English, B. Connors, L. & Beveridge, A. (1999). Evaluating the Outcomes of Intensive Critical Thinking Instruction for Social Work Students, Social Work Education, 18(2): 207-217.

Plath, D. (1995). Successful Interagency Groups, Research Monograph, University of Newcastle, NSW.

Plath, D. (1994). Fostering Creativity through Social Work Education, Advances in Social Welfare Education, AASWWE, 113-119.

        Consultancy Reports:

Debbie Plath Consulting (2017). Evidence and Program Logic for Little Yarns program, Newcastle, Firstchance.

Debbie Plath Consulting (2016). Parenting Program Review, Hornsby, Northern Sydney Local Health District.

Debbie Plath Consulting. (2016). Got It! &ndash Pre-Intervention Screening, Sydney, MH-Kids, NSW Ministry of Health.

Debbie Plath Consulting. (2016). Got It! Implementation Guidelines, Sydney, MH-Kids, NSW Ministry of Health.

Debbie Plath Consulting. (2016). Got It! &ndash Protecting Families at Risk: Policy Brief, Sydney, MH-Kids, NSW Ministry of Health.

Debbie Plath Consulting. (2015 & 2017 versions). Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Intervention Program: Practice Guidelines, Newcastle, Firstchance.

Debbie Plath Consulting. (2014). AASW Supervision Standards, Canberra, Australian Association of Social Workers.

Debbie Plath Consulting & Family Action Centre. (2014). Got It! Final report: Evaluation of the Getting on Track in Time: Got it! Program, Sydney, MH-Kids, NSW Ministry of Health.

Debbie Plath Consulting & Family Action Centre (2013). Got It! Evaluation: Process Data and Qualitative Insights, Sydney, NSW Ministry of Health.

Debbie Plath Consulting & Family Action Centre (2013). Got It! Evaluation: Interim Report, Sydney, NSW Ministry of Health.

Debbie Plath Consulting (2012). Consumer Directed Packages: Consumers Experiences of Implementation, Newcastle, Catholic Community Services.

Debbie Plath Consulting & Family Action Centre (2012). Family-Centred Practice: A Practice Guide, Melbourne, Berry Street.

Plath, D. & Walker, A. (2009). Evaluation of Social Service Worker Education Program in the Maldives, University of Newcastle.

Plath, D., Gibbons, J & Agllias, K. (2007). Maldives Social Services: Curriculum Development and Implementation, Report and Recommendations to Project Reference Group and Key Stakeholders, University of Newcastle / UNICEF.

Gibbons, J. & Plath, D. (2006). Proposal for Training of Social Service Workers in the Maldives, Report on consultancy project, University of Newcastle / UNICEF.

Podcasts:

         Fronek, P. (Host). (2013, January 27). Evidence-based practice: In conversation with Debbie Plath [Episode  41]. Podsocs. Podcast retrieved 07.01.2018 from http://www.podsocs.com/podcast/evidence-based-practice/

 

Research

Research approaches and methodologies:

  • Qualitative methods
  • Mixed method research
  • Practice-based research
  • Participatory research
  • Research-informed practice

Current and recent research projects include:

  • Engaging families through schools to promote child and family wellbeing
  • Women, children, homelessess and refuges
  • Individual budgets as a social policy instrument in relation to disability and child protection
  • The changing nature of Social Work practice under the National Disability Insurance Scheme 

 

Professional Memberships

Accredited member, Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)

 

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