On Thursday 28 April Dr Sara McLean gave a lecture at Linacre College to share her research into neuropsychology, clinical psychology, and child protection theory, and her work translating this knowledge into practical strategies for working with looked-after children and families. During her lecture, Dr McLean used the below quote from peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, to illustrate the link between adverse childhood experiences and negative effects on adult mental and physical health:
'When you plant a lettuce, if it does not grow well you do not blame the lettuce.'
The lecture, attended by researchers, foster parents, and policy makers, was introduced by Dr Nick Brown, Principal of Linacre College. During the lecture Dr McLean expanded on her research into foster parenting of vulnerable children, and discussed her findings which highlight how positive parenting can improve young people's executive functioning difficulties that are linked to previous adverse experiences. She also discussed how her research indicates that structured interventions by foster parents can improve the lives of children with cognitive vulnerabilities caused by foetal alcohol syndrome.
Dr McLean is based at the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia and her collaboration with University of Oxford was enabled by the receipt of an ACU Titular Fellowship
The collaboration between the University of Oxford and the University of South Australia will continue when Professor Judy Sebba, Director of The Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at Oxford, visits the Australian Centre for Child Protection later in 2016.
The next ACU Titular Fellow to be hosted by Linacre College will be announced shortly.
For more information on all Titular Fellowships, please see this page