Therapeutic Care Blog

Articles, thoughts and publications produced by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care.

April 8, 2020

Therapeutic residential workers? Who are we?

This blog is to introduce my recent research with therapeutic residential workers. Further blogs and practice guides relating to finding, keeping, acknowledging and celebrating the best person for the job of Therapeutic Residential Care Worker and Managers will be developed in coming months. Keep an eye out for them! Why did I do this research? …

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April 6, 2020

Safety From The Outside To The Inside

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.” Bessel Van der Kolk At the recent Therapeutic Specialist’s forum, there was lots of discussion about the concept of physical and relational safety in Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC). …

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April 1, 2020

Cultivating Curiosity in Therapeutic Residential Care

Albert Einstein, (a pretty smart person!), wrote: “I have no special talents; I am only passionately curious” Curiosity is something that has excited me my whole life. I am sure a lot of you share my fascination and enthusiasm for curiosity. There seems to be wide support for the idea that we work with a …

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March 30, 2020

Leaving Care: What we know and don’t know about outcomes for young people

The research is clear: young people do not fare well when they leave care. Study after study, both in Australia and internationally, tells us that our care leavers are more likely to be unemployed, homeless, experience poverty, mental health concerns, and as I argued in my previous blog, are at far greater risk of entering …

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March 25, 2020

How do we create excellence in intensive therapeutic care practice?

What creates high quality therapeutic residential care? This is the question often asked of agencies, of staff, of policy makers and of the young people themselves. There is no simple answer! Intensive therapeutic residential care is a complex operating environment. It cares for and supports young people with the most complex needs and interacts with …

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March 23, 2020

They came to us for care and left with a criminal record

There is a nexus between living in Out of Home Care (OOHC) and being involved with the criminal justice system. In NSW children and young people in OOHC have been found to be overly represented in the NSW Children’s Court, with estimates ranging from 19% to 34%(Indig, Vecchiato, Haysom, Belby, Carter, Champion & Whitton, 2011). …

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March 23, 2020

8 Ways to Support Young People in Residential Care during COVID-19

How do we keep to the therapeutic care principles of safety, consistency, predictability, and routine in a world that feels like it has turned upside down overnight? It’s near impossible! If we are feeling this way, imagine how young people may be feeling. I know you are all working very hard to put plans in …

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March 15, 2020

Stability in Residential Care: Part II

Sarah is 14 and has been in placement for 18 months. She lives in a residential house with two boys and one girl. The boys display aggressive behaviours and are involved in substance and alcohol misuse. Sarah is often missing but when present she is moody and disconnected. The police are regularly called to the …

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March 4, 2020

Staying on Your Game as a Therapeutic Specialist

What follows is a mixture of tips, reminders, encouragement and hopefully a little bit of inspiration. Start with your “why” – Knowing your why is a key essential to success in your role as a therapeutic specialist. As Simon Sinek’s research into leadership has shown, the why comes first. The why is your origin of …

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February 24, 2020

What does stability in residential care mean? Part I

“Stability…can be defined as children’s feelings of connectedness and belonging that are characterised by steady emotional attachments to adults and members of peer networks” (Devaney, McGregor and Moran 2019, p. 635). After four years working in residential care, both on the floor and as a clinician, I wanted to better understand what stability really means …

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