Professor Karen Fisher

Professor
BA/LLB (Hons) Auck., MEc Macq. PhD, UNSW
Social Policy Research Centre

Contact

+61 2 9385 7813
+61 2 9385 7838
Room 210, Goodsell Building
Kensington Campus
Fields: Social Policy, Social Program Evaluation, Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
Tags: Mental Health Services, Structure, Delivery and Financing of Community Services, Children's/Youth Services and Childcare, Families and Family Services, Ability and Disability, Comparative Structure and Development of Community Services

Professor Karen Fisher, BA LLB (Hons) Auck., MEc Macq, PhD UNSW, conducts research on the organisation of social services in Australia and China. Her research interests include services in the community; disability and mental health services; project and service evaluation. Karen applies inclusive research methods with people with disability, families and disability policy officials and service providers. She leads the SPRC Disability Research Program, and the SPRC Communication and Engagement Committee; and was an Official Visitor for NSW Mental Health; Acting Deputy Director Disability Studies and Research Centre UNSW; co-convenor of the NSW Australasian Evaluation Society; a foundation member of the Board of the Disability Studies and Research Institute; and a Disability Community Visitor for accommodation services for people with disabilities. Her experience includes eight years early childhood research as a consultant and director in Families At Work. Her research associated with the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody included Aboriginal community consultations.

Research

Karen Fisher is a Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre. Her research interests are the organisation of social services in Australia and China; disability and mental health policy; inclusive research and evaluation; and social policy process. Karen applies mixed methodology and adopts inclusive research methods with people with disability, families, policy officials and services providers.

Updated research publications, projects and positions are listed on her SPRC webpage.

Publications

    Books

    • Shang X;Fisher K, 2017, Young People Leaving State Care in China, Policy Press, Bristol
    • Shang X;Fisher KR, 2016, Disability policy in China: Child and Family Experiences, Routledge Contemporary China Series, Routledge, UK
    • Shang X;Fisher KR, 2014, Caring for Orphaned Children in China, Lexington Books, Lanham, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780739136942
    • Fisher KR, 2009, Whose Values Shape Social Policy? Policy Process Limits to Economic Rationalism, Original, VDM Verlag Dr Muller, Saabrucken, Germany

    Book Chapters

    • Robinson S;Fisher KR;Hill M;Graham A, 2017, 'In the picture: Perspectives of young people with cognitive disability on rural and regional life', in Disability and Rurality: Identity, Gender and Belonging, pp. 168 - 183, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315577340
    • Fisher KR;Shang X, 2017, 'Young people moving from rural foster care to cities in China', in Disability and Rurality: Identity, Gender and Belonging, pp. 38 - 52, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315577340
    • Robinson S;Fisher KR;Hill M;Graham A, 2017, 'Views of young people with cognitive disability about care in their relationships', in Children, Young People and Care, pp. 203 - 217, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315686752
    • Shang X;Fisher KR, 2017, 'Child maltreatment and prevention practices in Chinese orphanages', in Rus A; Parris S; Stativa E (ed.), Child Maltreatment in Long-Term Residential Centers: History, Research, and Current Implications, Springer, USA
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Blaxland M, 2017, 'Disability and welfare services', in Carillo B; Hood J; Kadeza P (ed.), Handbook of Welfare in China, Edward Elgar, http://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781783472741
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Xie J, 2016, 'Global South–North Partnerships: Intercultural Methodologies in Disability Research', in Grech S; Soldatic K (ed.), Disability in the Global South: The Critical Handbook, edn. 1, Springer International Publishing, pp. 567 - 582, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-42488-0_36
    • Shang X;Fisher KR;Guo P, 2014, 'Gender, social policy and older women with disabilities in Rural China', in Gender and Welfare States in East Asia: Confucianism or Gender Equality?, pp. 90 - 113, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137314796
    • Harris SP;Owen R;Fisher KR, 2014, 'Structural and cultural rights in Australian disability employment policy', in Disability, Human Rights and the Limits of Humanitarianism, pp. 83 - 100
    • Li B;Duda M, 2011, 'Life considerations and the housing of rural to urban migrants: The case of Taiyuan', in China's Changing Welfare Mix: Local Perspectives, pp. 151 - 170, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203832776
    • Bach M;Chiriacescu D;Cote A;Cuk V;Devlieger P;Fisher KR;Heller T;Knapp M;Parker S;Quinn G;Posarac A;Schneider M;Shakespeare T;Walsh PN, 2011, 'Assistance and Support', in World Health Organisation (ed.), World Report on Disability 2011, edn. Original, World Health Organisation Press, Geneva, pp. 135 - 166
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Xie J, 2011, 'Support for social participation of children and young people with disability in China', in Carrillo B; Duckett J (ed.), China's Changing Welfare Mix, Local Perspectives, edn. 1, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 193 - 210
    • Fisher KR;Fine MD, 2002, 'Care coordination, case management theory and the coordinated care trials: reconsidering the fundamentals', in Australian Coordinated Care Trials, edn. 1, Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Servi, Canberra, pp. 23 - 38
    • Fine MD;Fisher KR, 1999, 'The theory and practice of case management in coordinated care', in The Australian Coordinated Care Trials: local experience and technical observations, CHSD discussion paper no 1, edn. Original, Centre for Health Service Development, University of Wollongong, pp. 39 - 47
    • Fine MD;Fisher KR;Powell-Davies PG;Harris MF, 1999, 'Linking care in Sydney`s leafy northern suburbS: the evaluation of the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Coordinated Care Trial. Book 2.', in The Australian Coordinated Care Trials: methodological issues in trial design and evaluation, edn. Original, Ausinfo, Canberra, pp. 83 - 96

    Journal articles

    • Weise J;Fisher KR;Trollor J, 2018, 'What makes generalist mental health professionals effective when working with people with an intellectual disability? A family member and support person perspective', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
    • Zhong L;Fisher KR, 2018, 'Participation and Chinese non-government organization accountability', International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
    • Weise J;Fisher KR;Trollor JN, 2017, 'Establishing core mental health workforce attributes for the effective mental health care of people with an intellectual disability and co-occurring mental ill health.', J Appl Res Intellect Disabil, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jar.12407
    • Liu Y;Fisher KR, 2017, 'Engaging with Disability Services: Experiences of Families from Chinese Backgrounds in Sydney', Australian Social Work, pp. 1 - 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2017.1324885
    • Robinson S;Fisher KR;Gendera S, 2016, 'Can Case Management Contribute to Effective Use of Small Self-Directed Support Packages for People with Disabilities?', Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 10, pp. 268 - 279, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aswp.12095
    • Fisher KR;Purcal C, 2016, 'Policies to change attitudes to people with disabilities', Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, vol. 19, pp. 161 - 174, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15017419.2016.1222303
    • McDermott S;Bruce J;Muir K;Ramia I;Fisher KR;Bullen J, 2016, 'Reducing hospitalisation among people living with severe mental illness', Australian Health Review, vol. 40, pp. 124 - 128, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH15073
    • Weise J;Fisher KR;Trollor J, 2016, 'The utility of a modified on-line Delphi method to define workforce competencies: lessons from the intellectual disability mental health core competencies project', Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 13, pp. 15 - 22, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12142
    • Lutz D;Fisher KR;Robinson S, 2016, 'Sharing the focus: engaging with support workers to include people with communication needs in research', British Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol. 44, pp. 138 - 145, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bld.12126
    • Bullen J;Fisher KR, 2015, 'Is Housing First for Mental Health Community Support Possible During a Housing Shortage?', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 49, pp. 928 - 945, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12104
    • Laragy C;Fisher KR;Purcal C;Jenkinson S, 2015, 'Australia's Individualised Disability Funding Packages: When Do They Provide Greater Choice and Opportunity?', Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 9, pp. 282 - 292, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aswp.12068
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Li J, 2015, 'Accountability of Children's Services Organizations in China', Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 9, pp. 94 - 107, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aswp.12043
    • Blaxland M;Fisher K;Shang X, 2015, 'Transitional and Developmental Challenges for Chinese Social Policy', Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 9, pp. 1 - 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aswp.12047
    • Fisher KR;Lutz D;Gadow F;Robinson S;Gendera S, 2015, 'A transformative framework for deinstitutionalisation', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 2, pp. 60 - 72, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23297018.2015.1028089
    • Watson S;Thorburn K;Everett M;Fisher KR, 2014, 'Care without coercion - Mental health rights, personal recovery and trauma-informed care:', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 49, pp. 529 - 549, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1839-4655.2014.tb00327.x
    • Kayess R;Sands T;Fisher KR, 2014, 'International power and local action - implications for the intersectionality of the rights of women with disability', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 73, pp. 383 - 396, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12092
    • Parker Harris S;Owen R;Fisher KR;Gould R, 2014, 'Human Rights and Neoliberalism in Australian Welfare to Work Policy: Experiences and Perceptions of People with Disabilities and Disability Stakeholders', Disability Studies Quarterly, vol. 34, http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3992/3800
    • Blaxland M;Shang X;Fisher KR, 2014, 'Introduction: People Oriented: A New Stage of Social Welfare Development in China', Journal of Social Service Research, vol. 40, pp. 508 - 519, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2014.923801
    • Fisher KR;Shang X, 2014, 'Protecting the Right to Life of Children with Disabilities in China', Journal of Social Service Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2014.922521
    • Shang X;Fisher KR, 2014, 'Social Support for Mothers of Children With Disabilities in China', Journal of Social Service Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2014.896849
    • Purcal C;Fisher KR;Laragy C, 2014, 'Analysing Choice in Australian Individual Funding Disability Policies', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 73, pp. 88 - 102, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12063
    • Robinson S;Fisher KR;Strike R, 2014, 'Participatory and inclusive approaches to disability policy evaluation', Australian Social Work, vol. 2014, pp. 495 - 508, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2014.902979
    • Fisher KR;Shang X, 2013, 'Access to health and therapy services for families of children with disabilities in China', Disability and Rehabilitation, vol. 35, pp. 2157 - 2163, http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2013.770566
    • Fisher KR;Robinson S;Harris SP, 2013, 'Can Policy to Address Some Disability Rights Mitigate Weak Approaches to Others?', International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 36, pp. 512 - 521, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2013.772633
    • Dadich A;Fisher KR;Muir K, 2013, 'How can non-clinical case management complement clinical support for people with chronic mental illness residing in the community?', Psychology, Health and Medicine, vol. 18, pp. 482 - 489, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2012.748207
    • Fisher KR;Li J;Fan L, 2012, 'Barriers to the supply of non-government disability services in China', Journal of Social Policy, vol. 41, pp. 161 - 182, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047279411000365
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Blaxland M, 2011, 'Introduction: Moving towards Human Rights Based Social Policies in China', Social Policy and Society, vol. 10, pp. 67 - 69, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746410000394
    • Zhang X;Fisher KR, 2011, 'Evaluating the elderly care community services in Shanghai', International Conference on Management and Service Science, MASS 2011, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICMSS.2011.5998788
    • Laragy C;Fisher KR;Cedersund E;Campbell-Mclean C, 2011, 'Support as a complement, intrusion and right - evidence from ageing and disability support service users in Sweden and Australia', Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, vol. 25, pp. 745 - 753, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2011.00887.x
    • Shang X;Fisher KR;Xie J, 2011, 'Discrimination against children with disability in China', International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 20, pp. 298 - 308, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2397.2009.00666.x
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Li Z, 2011, 'Absent role of the state: Analysis of social support to older people with disabilities in rural China', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 45, pp. 633 - 648, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9515.2011.00799.x
    • Shang X;Saldov M;Fisher KR, 2011, 'Informal kinship care of orphans in rural China', Social Policy and Society, vol. 10, pp. 103 - 116, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746410000436
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Blaxland M, 2011, 'Review Article: human rights based social policies challenges for China', Social Policy and Society, vol. 10, pp. 71 - 77, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746410000400
    • Fisher KR;Shang X;Blaxland M, 2011, 'Introduction: moving towards human rights based social policies in China', Social Policy and Society, vol. 10, pp. 67 - 70
    • Fisher KR;Purcal C, 2010, 'Effective personalised housing support for people with disabilities - Case study analysis', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 45, pp. 527 - 542
    • Fisher KR;Purcal C, 2010, 'Effectiveness of individual funding for disability support', SPRC newsletter, pp. 1 - 7, http://www.sprc.unsw.edu.au/media/File/NL105.pdf
    • Parker S;Fisher KR, 2010, 'Facilitators and Barriers in Australian Disability Housing Support Policies: Using a Human Rights Framework', Disability Studies Quarterly, vol. 30, http://www.dsq-sds.org/article/view/1283/1310
    • Fisher KR;Robinson S, 2010, 'Will policy makers hear my disability experience? How participatory research contributes to managing interest conflict in policy implementation', Social Policy and Society, vol. 9, pp. 207 - 220, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746409990339
    • Fisher KR;Parker S;Purcal C, 2009, 'Measuring the effectiveness of new approaches to housing support policy for persons with disabilities', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 68, pp. 319 - 332, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8500.2009.00642.x
    • Fisher K;Jing L, 2008, 'Chinese disability independent living policy', Disability and Society, vol. 23, pp. 171 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687590701841216
    • Muir K;Fisher KR;Dadich A;Abelló D, 2008, 'Challenging the exclusion of people with mental illness: The Mental Health Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI)', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 43, pp. 271 - 290
    • Purcal C;Fisher KR, 2007, 'Balancing qualified staff requirements with shortage of recruits in child care - The NSW experience', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 42, pp. 387 - 399
    • Muir K;Fisher KR, 2007, 'Stable housing, the foundation of improved mental health: findings from the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI)', New Paradigm, pp. 50 - 53
    • Valentine K;Fisher K;Thomson C, 2006, 'Making integration happen: The families first policy experience', Child Abuse Review, vol. 15, pp. 414 - 428, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/car.964
    • Purcal C;Fisher KR, 2006, 'Affordability funding models for early childhood services', Australian Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 31, pp. 49 - 58
    • Fisher KR;Thomson CM;valentine K, 2006, 'The implementation of Families First NSW: process lessons from the first four years', Australian Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 31 (1), pp. 11 - 19

    Conference Papers

    • Shang X;Fisher KA R E N, 2017, 'Never become an adult? Support to young people with disabilities in Chinese state care to achieve economic security', in Never become an adult? Support to young people with disabilities in Chinese state care to achieve economic security, the 5th International Conference on Adoption Research, Auckland, New Zealand., presented at the 5th International Conference on Adoption Research, Auckland, New Zealand., 07 - 11 January 2016
    • Fisher KR;Purcal C, 2008, 'Measuring effective housing support policy for people with disability', in Measuring effective housing support policy for people with disability, National Disability Services Accommodation and Social Participation Conference, Sydney, presented at National Disability Services Accommodation and Social Participation Conference, Sydney, 01 January 2008
    • Purcal C;Fisher KR, 2005, 'Affordability funding models for early childhood services', in SPRC (ed.), Australian Social Policy Conference 2005, Australian Social Policy Conference 2005, University of New South Wales, presented at Australian Social Policy Conference 2005, University of New South Wales, 01 January 2005
    • Fine MD;Fisher KR;Thomson CM, 2000, 'Changing Care Solutions: Innovative Forms of Support for Older People', in Ageing and Active. Australia in the 21st Century. Future challenges and opportunities for Australia`s ageing populati, pp. 66 - 72

    Reports

    Other

    Conference Presentations

    • Meltzer A;Purcal C;Fisher KR, 2017, 'Research findings about the ECI sector’s transition to the NDIS: Insights from two projects', presented at Early Childhood Intervention Australia NSW/ACT 27th State Conference, Sydney, Australia, 25 - 26 May 2017
    • Shang X;Fisher K, 2016, 'Everything for the Children: Orphans Growing up in De Facto Adoption Families in China', presented at the 5th International Conference on Adoption Research, Auckland, New Zealand., 07 - 11 January 2016
    • Meltzer A;Heywood L;Fisher KR;O'Tarpey M, 2016, 'Research findings from the early intervention review in the Nepean Blue Mountains/Hunter trial sites', presented at Early Childhood Intervention Australia National Conference, Melbourne, 07 - 10 September 2016
    • Fisher KR;Purcal C;Jones A;Robinson S;Kayess R, 2015, 'Disability accommodation support within constrained housing options: A policy framework', presented at Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney, 28 - 30 September 2015
    • Fisher KR;Jones A;Purcal C;Kayess R;Robinson S, 2015, 'Critical Social Futures: Querying Systems of Disability Support', presented at Critical Social Futures: Querying Systems of Disability Support, Sydney, 19 - 19 June 2015
    • Fisher KR, 2015, 'Experiences of Chinese Language Learning and research with Chinese Partners on Chinese Social Issues', presented at Chinese Language Teachers Association NSW Annual Conference 2015, Sydney, 21 - 22 August 2015, http://macquariemandarin.com.au/2015-cltansw-annual-conference/
    • Meltzer A;Fisher KR, 2013, 'Inclusive research with people with younger onset dementia', presented at Australian Social Policy Conference, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 16 - 18 September 2013
    • Laragy C;Fisher KR;Purcal C, 2012, 'Self-directed approaches: What the research says about strategies for disability service providers and professionals', presented at National Disability Services Victoria (NDSV) and Disability Professionals Victoria (DPV) Annual Conference 2012: From Strength to Strength, Melbourne, 01 March 2012
    • valentine K;Fisher KR, 2011, 'Australian disability policies and social welfare challenges', presented at International Conference of Social Welfare Issues in the ASEAN region, Jakarta, 27 - 30 October 2011
    • Fisher KR;Purcal C, 2011, 'Supported living framework and case studies', presented at My Neighbourhood, My Home: Independent supported living in local neighbourhoods, workshop organised by Leichhardt Council, Sydney, 01 May 2011
    • Laragy C;Purcal C;Fisher KR, 2011, 'Individual funding: A good start but not enough', presented at Disability Studies Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand, 01 November 2011
    • Purcal C;Fisher KR;Laragy C, 2011, 'Effectiveness of individual funding for disability support', presented at Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney, Australia, 06 - 08 July 2011
    • Muir K;Fisher KR;Abello D;Dadich A, 2010, ''I didn't like just sittin around all day': Facilitating social and community participation among people with mental illness and high levels of psychiatric disability', Vol. 39, pp. 375 - 391, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047279410000073
    • Katz I;Purcal C, 2009, 'Effectiveness of individualised funding approaches for disability support', presented at Social Policy Research Workshop, Canberra, 30 November 2009
    • Muir K;Fisher KR;Abello D;Dadich A, 2007, 'Challenging the disabling nature of mental illness: the evaluation results of the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI)', presented at Australian Social Policy Conference 2007, University of New South Wales, 11 - 13 July 2007

Teaching

HDR Supervision. Associate Professor Karen Fisher is keen to supervise higher degree research students and visiting scholars in the organisation of social services with an interest in Australia and China, including disability and mental health services and community care; inclusive evaluation methodology; and social policy process.

PhD Joint Supervisor for Erin Whittle 'Access to mental health care: the double disadvantage of intellectual disability and gender'

PhD Joint Supervisor for Bronwyn Newman 'Information about mental health for people with intellectual disability:impact on equality'

PhD Co-supervisor for Danielle Notara 'The ethics of participation for young people with cognitive disability'

PhD Joint supervisor for Deborah Lutz 'Friend or worker? A qualitative transnational approach to understanding relationships between support workers and people with intellectual disabilities utilising individualised funding’

PhD Joint Supervisor for Quanchai Kerddaen 'Disability, Income Security and Social Protection: Understanding the Experiences of Visually Impaired Street Musicians in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region'

PhD Joint Supervisor for Janelle Weise 'The delivery of accessible mental health services to people with intellectual disability: a workforce perspective'

PhD Joint Supervisor for Sally-Anne Moad 'Exploring lifelong learning experiences for adults with intellectual disabilities- focussing on the barriers to, and successes in, accessing adult learning'

Completions:

PhD Joint Supervisor for Emma Partridge ‘Understanding the use of evidence in Indigenous policy’

PhD Co-Adviser for Randall Owen, University of Illinois, Disability Studies, ‘Disability Rights, Employment and Workfare: people with disabilities in liberal welfare states’

Honours and prizes

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics 2014

Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowship 2005, 2009

Professional contribution

Disability Innovation Institute at UNSW, Interim Team 2017

Centre for Applied Disability Research (CADR), Advisory Board Member 2015-

A&SS Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Gender Champion, 2017-

UNSW Women in Research Network (WIRN), Co-Chair 2016, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Representative 2015-

SPRC Communication and Engagement Committee, Chair 2015

Editorial Board, Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 2014-

Review Board, Review of Disability Studies, 2013-6

Neami Research Advisory Committee 2013-

Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney, Board Member 2012-7

SPRC Disability Research Program, Leader 2011-

ARC Expert Assessor 2008-

Partners in Recovery (PIR), South East Sydney Medicare Local, Advisory Committee 2013-4

Official Visitor Mental Health NSW 2006-12

Community Visitor Disability Accommodation Services 1995-2000

Affiliations and membership

Australasian Evaluation Society

Australian Social Policy Society

East Asian Social Policy Network

People With Disability Australia

 

 

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