Dorothy Scott OAM was the Foundation Chair of Child Protection and the inaugural Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia until her retirement in 2010. Dorothy’s career in child welfare began when she was a seventeen year old child care worker at the Allambie Reception Centre in Burwood, Victoria. Moved by the suffering of children who were admitted to State care, she studied social work at the University of Melbourne in the early 1970s and then worked for the Social Welfare Department in the area of foster care and adoption.
She went on to become a Senior Social Worker in the Family Psychiatry Department of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre in Melbourne. Dorothy began an academic career in the 1980s, lecturing social work students at the University of Melbourne, and conducting research in areas including maternal depression and child welfare. During her time as a Senior Social Worker, Emeritus Professor Scott helped establish specialist services for women experiencing post-partum psychiatric disorders, and services for women and children who had been sexually assaulted. Since the 1980s she has conducted numerous reviews and inquiries in Australia in the field of child protection and served on Ministerial advisory bodies in several States and Territories.