Dr Betty Luu

PhD
Research Associate, Institute of Open Adoption Studies

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 6575

Biographical details

Betty joined the Institute of Open Adoption Studies as a Research Associate in 2017. She is currently conducting applied research and practice development in the area of permanency for children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW, particularly in open adoption (but also other permanency pathways including reunification, kinship care, and guardianship).

Betty recently contributed to the development, implementation, analysis and writeup of studies examining public perceptions of open adoption and foster carers’ motivations and barriers to adopting the children in their care. More recently, she undertook data extraction and analysis of case files in the NSW Supreme Court in a project which examines how justices have applied the ‘best interests’ principle in adoption decisions for children in out-of-home care, and the orders relating to children’s post-adoption contact arrangements with birth family.

Betty completed her PhD in Psychology at The University of Sydney in 2014, and has a firm research interest in understanding how the early environment can best support children’s development. Her doctoral research was in the area of developmental psychology and examined children's ability to selectively trust people on the basis of the information they provide. She has a wealth of experience in implementing, managing and contributing to child- and youth-centred research studies within a broad range of subject areas, including social cognitive development, early childhood education and care, intergroup contact and prejudice, attachment, and adoptive identity development.

Research interests

  • Developmental psychology and child development
  • Impact of children's early environments
  • Permanency for children and young people in out-of-home care
  • Open adoption experiences and practices in NSW
  • Quantitative and statistical analysis

Teaching and supervision

  • Guest lecturer for SCWK6902 Social Research (Quantitative Research)
    research and
    analysis
Social Research

Current projects

  • Children's best interests and contact orders in NSW Supreme Court adoption matters
  • Practice model for permanency
  • NSW Family Group Conferencing evaluation
  • Research synthesis on priority vulnerable populations
  • Recruiting carers for children aged over 9

    Associations

    • NSW Committee on Adoption and Permanent Care (COAPC)
    • Sydney University Psychology of Intergroup Relations (SUPIR) Lab
    • Motivation, Engagement and Individual Choice Pathways (MOVEicp) network, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney

    Awards and honours

    • Rudd Adoption Research Scholar (2019)
    • Australian Postgraduate Award (2010-2014)
    • Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA) President's Student Conference Travel Scholarship (2013)

    Selected publications & creative works

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    Journals

    • Luu, B., Wright, A., Cashmore, J. (2019). Contact and adoption plans for children adopted from out-of-home care in New South Wales. Australian Social Work, Online first. [More Information]
    • Luu, B., Wright, A., Randle, M. (2019). General public perceptions and motivations to adopt children from out-of-home care in New South Wales, Australia. Children Australia, Online first. [More Information]
    • Collings, S., Wright, A., Spencer, M., Luu, B. (2019). How foster carers experience agency support for birth family contact. Child and Family Social Work, Online first. [More Information]
    • Howard, S., Siraj, I., Melhuish, E., Kingston, D., Neilsen-Hewett, C., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Luu, B. (2019). Measuring interactional quality in pre-school settings: introduction and validation of the Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing (SSTEW) scale. Early Child Development and Care, Online first. [More Information]
    • Luu, B., de Rosnay, M., Wright, A., Tregeagle, S. (2018). Identity formation in children and young people in open adoptions from out-of-home-care in New South Wales, Australia. Adoption Quarterly, 21(2), 120-139. [More Information]
    • Melhuish, E., Howard, S., Siraj, I., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Kingston, D., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Luu, B. (2016). Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) through a professional development programme for early childhood educators to improve professional practice and child outcomes in the year before formal schooling: Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. Trials, 17(1). [More Information]
    • Luu, B., de Rosnay, M., Harris, P. (2013). Five-year-olds are willing, but 4-year-olds refuse, to trust informants who offer new and unfamiliar labels for parts of the body. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 116(2), 234-246. [More Information]

    Research Reports

    • Siraj, I., Melhuish, E., Howard, S., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Kingston, D., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Feng, X., Luu, B. (2018). Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) Study April 2018: Final Report, (pp. 1 - 98). Sydney, Australia, Australia: New South Wales Department of Education. [More Information]
    • Siraj, I., Kingston, D., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Howard, S., Melhuish, E., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Luu, B. (2017). Fostering Effective Early Learning Study: A review of the current international evidence considering quality in early childhood education and care programmes - in delivery, pedagogy and child outcomes, (pp. 1 - 37). Sydney, Australia: New South Wales Department of Education.
    • de Rosnay, M., Luu, B., Wright, A. (2016). Young children's identity formation in the context of open adoption in NSW: An examination of optimal conditions for child wellbeing, Australia: The University of Sydney. [More Information]

    2019

    • Luu, B., Wright, A., Cashmore, J. (2019). Contact and adoption plans for children adopted from out-of-home care in New South Wales. Australian Social Work, Online first. [More Information]
    • Luu, B., Wright, A., Randle, M. (2019). General public perceptions and motivations to adopt children from out-of-home care in New South Wales, Australia. Children Australia, Online first. [More Information]
    • Collings, S., Wright, A., Spencer, M., Luu, B. (2019). How foster carers experience agency support for birth family contact. Child and Family Social Work, Online first. [More Information]
    • Howard, S., Siraj, I., Melhuish, E., Kingston, D., Neilsen-Hewett, C., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Luu, B. (2019). Measuring interactional quality in pre-school settings: introduction and validation of the Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing (SSTEW) scale. Early Child Development and Care, Online first. [More Information]

    2018

    • Siraj, I., Melhuish, E., Howard, S., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Kingston, D., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Feng, X., Luu, B. (2018). Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) Study April 2018: Final Report, (pp. 1 - 98). Sydney, Australia, Australia: New South Wales Department of Education. [More Information]
    • Luu, B., de Rosnay, M., Wright, A., Tregeagle, S. (2018). Identity formation in children and young people in open adoptions from out-of-home-care in New South Wales, Australia. Adoption Quarterly, 21(2), 120-139. [More Information]

    2017

    • Siraj, I., Kingston, D., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Howard, S., Melhuish, E., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Luu, B. (2017). Fostering Effective Early Learning Study: A review of the current international evidence considering quality in early childhood education and care programmes - in delivery, pedagogy and child outcomes, (pp. 1 - 37). Sydney, Australia: New South Wales Department of Education.

    2016

    • Melhuish, E., Howard, S., Siraj, I., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Kingston, D., de Rosnay, M., Duursma, E., Luu, B. (2016). Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) through a professional development programme for early childhood educators to improve professional practice and child outcomes in the year before formal schooling: Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. Trials, 17(1). [More Information]
    • de Rosnay, M., Luu, B., Wright, A. (2016). Young children's identity formation in the context of open adoption in NSW: An examination of optimal conditions for child wellbeing, Australia: The University of Sydney. [More Information]

    2013

    • Luu, B., de Rosnay, M., Harris, P. (2013). Five-year-olds are willing, but 4-year-olds refuse, to trust informants who offer new and unfamiliar labels for parts of the body. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 116(2), 234-246. [More Information]

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