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Sophia supports project strengthening child safety

6 December, 2022

UWA student and McCusker Centre for Citizenship intern Sophia Stavrianos has contributed 100 hours towards a “rewarding” project at Wanslea Family Services, assisting with a large-scale review of complex policies and legislations that uphold and strengthen child wellbeing and safety.

Wanslea provide a broad range of services and partnerships to support children and families in local communities, including childcare services, parenting support, foster care, mental health services and support for children with additional needs.

For Sophia, who is studying Psychological Science, the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship provided the opportunity to gain meaningful insights in the vast amount of work that goes into providing Wanslea’s valuable community services.

“My internship opened my eyes to the abundance of behind-the-scenes organisational legislation requirements and documentation needed for not-for-profit organisations,” said Sophia, who worked alongside another intern and the Wanslea Quality and Compliance Team to complete the internal policy review project.

Sophia admits that the sheer scale of the policy review was daunting, but she was encouraged by the Wanslea team and knowing that the project would be helping the organisation to continue to place the safety of children and young people at the forefront of their operations.

“Reaching objectives and even smaller milestones restored our motivation in addition to the consistent support from our supervisors. A highlight of my placement at Wanslea was when we finished auditing all the policies, as we could then move onto aligning policies with the National Child Safe Principles,” she said.

Internship supervisor and Wanslea Manager of Quality and Compliance, Peigi Hinton, said “The project that Sophia worked on with another intern was incredibly important, helping us move another step forward towards formal Child Safe Accreditation. The project was large, requiring a lot of critical thinking and analysis, and the work produced was outstanding!”

“Sophia brought a lot of energy with her! She was fast, efficient, and truly made a positive impact in our organisation and in the community at large,” said Peigi.

Sophia says that the project has given her a deeper understanding of the important role of policy and legislation in carrying out community services.

“I believe there are many things that are difficult to understand until you’ve had first-hand experience. You may have knowledge of organisational legislation requirements but putting them into practice and working with them provides a deeper understanding of their purpose,” said Sophia.

Sophia recommends the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program to other UWA students.

“I feel the program is a great opportunity for UWA students to be able to apply their field of study in real life organisations whilst observing professional practice and engaging in professional relationships,” she said.