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Menka Tsantefski

BSocWk, GradCert, GradDip(Edu), PhD

Associate Professor

Faculty of Health

[email protected]
Gold Coast
Menka Tsantefski


Orchid ID



I am a social worker with over 15 years of direct practice experience conducting home-visits to children and parents in families where children were at risk of removal due to maltreatment, or were being reunified with parents following placement in out of home care. I also have over 15 years of teaching and research experience.


My research addresses the intersection of problematic substance use, mental health, domestic and family violence and child protection concerns. I have an abiding commitment to improving outcomes for children and families facing these intersecting issues as their needs are not well understood, or addressed, by either child or adult-focused services, where the identified client is either the parent or the child. Throughout my research career, I have built evidence for interventions, such as the use of equine-assisted therapy for children affected by problematic substance use (Dunlop & Tsantefski, 2017; Tsantefski et al. 2017), led developments in child aware practice in adult services (Gruenert & Tsantefski, 2012; Tsantefski et al., 2013), and increased collaboration between the AOD, child welfare (Scott, 2023) and DFV sectors (Kertesz et al., 2022). This work has been cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary, and influential in policy and practice at the national level (Dawe et al., 2017; Scott, 2023). 

Community engagement

For over 13 years, I have provided research and consultancy services to Odyssey House Victoria, a leading alcohol and other drug treatment provider. In this role, I support the agency to examine services and outcomes for children and parents. Currently, I am developing and evalulating a new program designed to improve the capacity of the alcohol and other drug sector to recognise and respond to child sexual abuse. 


I am committed to ensuring students have a good experience of research while building the evidence-base for practice. I have supervised honours, masters and PhD students on a broad range of topics including domestic and family violence; the impact on the family of children's chronic health conditions; the experiences of children affected by problematic parental substance use; the transition to motherhood among women with histories of problematic substance use; and men's behaviour change programs.


I deliver the following units:

SWRK3004 - Social Work Practice VI: Advanced Practice Methods

SWRK5001 - Social Work Foundations for Practice

SWRK6007 - Social Work Field Placement 2


I am a member of the Editorial Board of Child Care in Practice, an international journal of relevance to all disciplines involved in the delivery of services to children and their families.

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