Steven Roche

Steven Roche
PhD Candidate
RTP Scholarship Awardee
Department of Social Work, Monash Primary & Allied Health Care

Supervisors
Dr Catherine Flynn (Main)
Associate Professor Philip Mendes

Project
A case study of residential care and child protection in the Philippines: Ethics, methods and initial findings.

“My PhD has been a rewarding experience, particularly the challenge of conducting fieldwork overseas, and engaging with diverse and interesting people.”

"Having worked as a social work practitioner, and then later in a junior university-based research position, I wanted to pursue a PhD to investigate my own research interests, improve my skills and to continue a career in social work and policy research.  I chose Monash based on the reputation of my supervisors and their commitment to educating graduate research students, as well as their enthusiasm for my research topic.

Practice and policy reforms around the residential care of children and young people

My research is a case study of residential care and child protection in a provincial city of the Philippines. Residential care settings, also known as orphanages, are widespread across the Philippines, and form a major part of approaches to children and young people’s welfare and protection. However, the reasons for this type of care are largely unclear, as are their practices, characteristics and models. Utilising a case study methodology, my research incorporates interviews with 52 young people with experiences of living in residential care, and 29 policy and program actors with expertise on residential care and child protection in the Philippines.

The potential impact of this research involves practice and policy reforms around the residential care of children and young people, providing evidence for improving programs, enhancing approaches to child protection and supporting alternate family-based care arrangements for children.

“Monash University has provided an excellent research environment...

...including financial support for my fieldwork, supportive and engaged supervisors, flexible study arrangements, an office space, as well as relevant research training.  My supervisors have been integral to my progress so far. They provide me with strong feedback and encouragement, and are deeply committed to my learning and success.

My PhD has been a rewarding experience, particularly the challenge of conducting fieldwork overseas and engaging with diverse and interesting people. My advice to someone considering pursuing graduate research would be to focus on finding the most suitable supervisors for you, especially researchers with overlapping research interests and approaches to research."