Carolyn started her career as a social worker, supporting families at risk of having their children removed into state care, and removing children at risk of harm.
Her front line experience with the limitations of government service systems, and her passion for social equality, lead her to seek positions where she could transform the system. She went on to work in child protection policy and was creator and manager of an innovative program to supporting babies at risk of harm.
Carolyn joined TACSI in 2010 as a secondee from state child protection services - having hit barriers at the policy and management level she wanted to explore making a different to the system from outside. Carolyn was co-lead on the project that created the family peer support program Family by Family; winner of a NAPCAN award for innovation in child protection.
As Director of Family by Family, Carolyn took the program from prototype to a functioning and funded service operating in two sites in South Australia and creating outcomes for families in tough times, including those at risk of losing their children to state care.
As CEO, Carolyn has grown TACSI from an initiative funded by government to a sustainable and growing social enterprise - deepening TACSI’s expertise in child protection and broadening TACSI’s influence into other areas including ageing and disability. The Family by Family program has spread to other states through supportive partnerships and Weavers, a second TACSI designed program that provides peer support for carers, is about to follow in its footsteps.
Carolyn is a strong advocate for the need to focus social innovation efforts in the areas where it is a necessity - to change outcomes for families, older people, people with disabilities, and Indigenous Australians and to transform the government service system.
Carolyn is a Director with the Social Innovation Exchange, singer, new mum and Labrador lover.