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Career Summary

Biography

Debbie joined the University of Newcastle in 1992 as a lecturer in social work. As part of the original teaching team to establish the Bachelor of Social Work at Newcastle, Debbie contributed to the development of the Experience Based Learning model in social work education on which she has published and presented internationally. Research and scholarship activities have also focused on providing research evidence that is useful and relevant for social work practitioners and human service organisations. Scholarly contributions have been made, both nationally and internationally, to the debate on evidence based practice in social work and to the body of practice evidence utilised by social workers in the fields of single session work and social work with older people. Debbie has been the recipient of several teaching awards for excellence and a Vice Chancellor's award for Research Excellence in 2010.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 18/08/2000
  • Master of Social Work, University of New South Wales, 19/10/1990
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours), University of Sydney, 15/06/1985
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney, 15/05/1982

Research

Research keywords

  • Ageing
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Single Session Social Work
  • Social Work

Research expertise

Research and scholarship activity has focused on providing research evidence that is useful and relevant for social work practitioners. Contributions have been made, both nationally and internationally, to the debate on evidence based practice in social work and to the body of practice evidence utilised by social workers through:

  • Publications in A & A* ranked international and national journals on the topics of ageing, single session social work intervention and research on social work education.
  • Successful internal and external research grant applications including CI on current ARC discovery grant.
  • Engagement with national community service organisations in collaborative research projects.
  • Establishing international research and academic links: eg. UNICEF, IFA.
  • Supervision of research higher degree students.
  • Dissemination of research findings to practitioners through a range of professional forums and national & international conferences.

2010 Vice Chancellors Award for Research Excellence

Languages

  • English

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
160701Clinical Social Work Practice100

Memberships

Body relevant to professional practice.

  • Member - Australian Association of Social Work

Appointments

UoN representative
ACHSSW - Aust Council of Heads of Schools of Social Work (Australia)
01/01/2008
Equity Research Fellowship
The University of Newcatle (Australia)
01/07/2010 - 01/12/2010
UoN representative
Combined Universities Field Education Group (Australia)
01/11/2004 - 01/12/2005
Project Leader (UoN team)
UNICEF consultancy (Maldives)
01/09/2006 - 01/04/2008

Awards

Recognition.

2008Excellence in Teaching Award
Faculty of Education & Arts (Australia)
Recipient of a prestigious prize or award
2008VC Award for Excellence in Teaching
University of Newcastle (Australia)
Excellence in Teaching

Research Award.

2010University of Newcastle Equity Research Fellowship
University of Newcastle (Australia)
University of Newcastle Equity Research Fellowship (2010)
2010Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Award
Universtiy of Newcastle (Australia)
Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Award (2010)

VC citation for outstanding contributions to student learning

2006VC Citation
University of Newcastle (Australia)
"For bold, innovative teaching that inspires the personal and professional development of social work students" This award recognises the research and scholarship in the field of social work education.

Invitations

International Conference on Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work
The Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work, United Kingdom (Conference Presentation - non published.)
2003

Collaboration

Social work practice.

Ageing and ageing policies.

Research - practice nexus in the human services

Administrative

Administrative expertise

Program Convenor for the Bachelor of Social Work and discipline leader in social work 2008 - 2011

Acting Deputy Head of School: Jan - July 2010.

Management of the AASW re-accreditation review of BSW in 2008/9.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Experience based learning
  • Practice Based Research
  • Practice Teaching / Field Education
  • Social Work

Teaching expertise

Dr Plath is an innovative and committed educator of social work professionals. As part of the team to establish the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University, an integral part contribution has been made to curriculum design and development of the experience based learning model for which social work at the University has become internationally recognised. Leading the team of social work educators at the University of Newcastle, Dr Plath prepares students for professional social work practice by being responsive to student needs and to the changing trends and issues faced by social workers in the field. Evidence for the quality of teaching includes:

  • 2008 Faculty of Education & Arts Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • An international consultancy completed for UNICEF advising on social work curriculum and training in a developing country (Maldives).
  • VC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2006) for Bold, innovative teaching that inspires the personal and professional development of social work students
  • University Excellence in Teaching award (1994 ) as one of the foundation team to establish the Bachelor of Social Work program at Newcastle.
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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2008Plath DA, 'Independence in old age: The route to social exclusion?', British Journal of Social Work, 38 1353-1369 (2008) [C1]

A* ranked journal. Sole author.

2009Gray MM, Plath DA, Webb SA, Evidence-Based Social Work: A Critical Stance, Routledge, London, 216 (2009) [A1]

Co-authors: Mel Gray

2005Gibbons JL, Plath DA, ''Everybody Puts a Lot into It!' Single Session Contacts in Hospital Social Work', Social Work in Health Care, 42 17-34 (2005) [C1]

Journal is ranked A.

2009Gibbons JL, Plath DA, 'Single contacts with hospital social workers: The clients' experiences', Social Work in Health Care, 48 721-735 (2009) [C1]

Journal is ranked A.

2009Plath DA, 'International policy perspectives on independence in old age', Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 21 209-223 (2009) [C1]
2006Plath DA, 'Evidence-Based Practice: Current Issues and Future Directions', Australian Social Work, 59 56-72 (2006) [C1]
2009Plath DA, 'Evidence-based practice', Social Work: Theories and Methods, SAGE, Thousand Oaks 172-183 (2009) [B1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2009Gray MM, Plath DA, Webb SA, Evidence-Based Social Work: A Critical Stance, Routledge, London, 216 (2009) [A1]

Co-authors: Mel Gray

Chapter (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2010Plath DA, 'Social work capacity building in the Maldives', Social Work Education in Countries of the East: Issues and Challenges, Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge 1-32 (2010) [B1]
2009Plath DA, 'Evidence-based practice', Social Work: Theories and Methods, SAGE, Thousand Oaks 172-183 (2009) [B1]

Journal article (16 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Gray M, Joy E, Plath D, Webb SA, 'Opinions about evidence: A study of social workers' attitudes towards evidence-based practice', Journal of Social Work, 14 23-40 (2014) [C1]
2014Gray MMA, Joy E, Plath D, Webb SA, 'What Supports and Impedes Evidence-Based Practice Implementation? A Survey of Australian Social Workers', British Journal of Social Work, 1-18 (2014)
2013Gray M, Joy E, Plath D, Webb SA, 'Implementing Evidence-Based Practice: A Review of the Empirical Research Literature', RESEARCH ON SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE, 23 157-166 (2013) [C1]
2012Gibbons JL, Plath DA, 'Single session social work in hospitals', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 33 39-53 (2012) [C1]

Co-authors: Jill Gibbons

2011Hart V, Plath DA, ''Egg donor wanted': Social work with women looking for an egg donor', Australian Social Work, 64 515-525 (2011) [C1]
2010Plath DA, Gibbons JL, 'Discoveries on a data-mining expedition: Single session social work in hospitals', Social Work in Health Care, 49 703-717 (2010) [C1]
2009Plath DA, 'International policy perspectives on independence in old age', Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 21 209-223 (2009) [C1]
2009Gibbons JL, Plath DA, 'Single contacts with hospital social workers: The clients' experiences', Social Work in Health Care, 48 721-735 (2009) [C1]

Journal is ranked A.

2008Plath DA, 'Independence in old age: The route to social exclusion?', British Journal of Social Work, 38 1353-1369 (2008) [C1]

A* ranked journal. Sole author.

2008Plath DA, 'Supporting women after domestic violence', Australian Social Work, 61 291-292 (2008) [C3]
2006Plath DA, 'Evidence-Based Practice: Current Issues and Future Directions', Australian Social Work, 59 56-72 (2006) [C1]
2005Gibbons JL, Plath DA, ''Everybody Puts a Lot into It!' Single Session Contacts in Hospital Social Work', Social Work in Health Care, 42 17-34 (2005) [C1]

Journal is ranked A.

2003Plath DA, 'An experience based model for practice learning: International perspective from Australia', Journal of Practice Teaching in Health & Social Work, 5 23-38 (2003) [C1]
2002Plath DA, 'Independence in old age: Shifting meanings in Australian social policy', Just Policy, 26 40-47 (2002) [C1]
1999Plath DA, English BA, Connors L, Beveridge AR, 'Evaluating the outcomes of intensive critical thinking instruction for social work students', Social Work Education, 18 207-217 (1999) [C1]

Co-authors: Alex Beveridge

1994Plath D, 'Fostering Creativity Through Social Work Education (1994) [C1]
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Conference (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2002Plath DA, 'Engaging students' interest in tertiary learning: An experienced based model of social work education', 6th Pacific rim, First Year in Higher Education Conference 2002, The University of Christchurch, New Zealand (2002) [E1]

Report (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2009Plath D, Walker A, 'Plath, D. & Walker, A. (2009) Evaluation of Social Service Worker Education Program in the Maldives, University of Newcastle.' (2009) [R2]
2007Plath D, Gibbons J, Agllias K, 'Maldives Social Services: Curriculum Development and Implementation, Report and Recommendations to Project Reference Group and Key Stakeholders, Univ of Newcastle / UNICEF.' (2007) [R2]
2006Plath D, Gibbons J, 'Proposal for the Development of Social Services in the Maldives, University of Newcastle (funded by UNICEF).' (2006) [R2]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants15
Total funding$339,271

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2010 (3 grants)

ERF Teaching Relief - Plath$24,016
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor John Germov, Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Equity Research FellowshipInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$24,01620102010
GNo:G0900098

Organisational case studies examining the implementation of Evidence Based Practice in the Human Services$2,500
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Equity Research FellowshipChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,50020102010
GNo:G0190633

Faculty of Education and Arts - Award for Research Excellence$2,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Award for Research ExcellenceChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,00020102010
GNo:G1001015

2009 (1 grants)

Implementing Evidence-Based Practice: Factors that Influence the Use of Research Evidence by Human Service Professionals$240,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Professor Stephen Webb, Professor Mel Gray, Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Discovery ProjectsInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$240,00020092011
GNo:G0188702

2008 (1 grants)

Evaluation of social service training and development program in the Maldives: building capacities or imposing western models?$6,666
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Pilot GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$6,66620082008
GNo:G0189058

2006 (2 grants)

Family violence client profile$3,000
Funding Body: Relationships Australia

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
University Grant Partner fundingChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$3,00020062006
GNo:G0186862

Family violence client profile$3,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Collaborative Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$3,00020062006
GNo:G0186656

2003 (2 grants)

Practice model for single session social work interventions in hospitals: social worker perspectives$4,219
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$4,21920032003
GNo:G0182711

'Co-operating for Social Justice' Australian Association of Social Workers National Conference 2003 28/09/03 to 01/10/03$605
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$60520032003
GNo:G0183602

2002 (1 grants)

6th Pacific Rim, First Year in Higher Education conference; Changing Agendas Christchurch New Zealand, 8-10 July, 2002$897
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$89720022002
GNo:G0182040

1999 (1 grants)

The Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the IFSW, APASWE and AASWWE, Brisbane$380
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$38019991999
GNo:G0180475

1997 (1 grants)

Independence in Old Age$31,639
Funding Body: Commonwealth Department of Health & Aged Care

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Research & Development Grant (RADGAC)Chief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$31,63919971998
GNo:G0176920

1995 (2 grants)

Critical thinking skills of social work students$18,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

SchemeRole
Quality Assurance Grant Chief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$18,00019951995
GNo:431299

24th National Conference of the Australian Assoc., Tasmania, 3-6 July$349
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$34919951995
GNo:G0176895

1994 (1 grants)

What factors influence the successful functioning of interagency groups in the community services field ?$2,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor Debbie Plath
SchemeRole
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,00019941994
GNo:G0174590
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.25

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20072014PhD (Social Work)Principal SupervisorParents as Partners in the Treatment of Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa: Experiences and Insights for Practitioners

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2004M Social Work [R]Sole SupervisorAn Investigation of Social Work Assessment with Child Protection Cases in Non-Statutory Settings
2002M Social Work [R]Sole SupervisorA Study of a Child Protection Program - NEWPIN. What are the Experiences of the Participants: Children, Mothers and Staff?
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Associate Professor Deborah (Debbie) Plath

Work Phone(02) 4921 5765
Fax(02) 4921 6995
Email
PositionCasual Academic
Social Work Discipline
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaSocial Work
Office
W228,
Behavioural Sciences,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/debbie-plath