Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care

What is Intensive Therapeutic Care?

Intensive Therapeutic Care System

Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) is a service system that helps children and young people who are recovering from the most severe forms of trauma, neglect, abuse or adversity. ITC is for children and young people over 12 years with complex and high needs who are either unable to be supported in foster care or require specialised and intensive supports to maintain stability in their care arrangements.

The ITC service system is in line with the NSW Therapeutic Care Framework and is replacing residential care across NSW over a two year period from 1 July 2017.

The ITC service system will more effectively and holistically address the needs of children and young people, improve outcomes and achieve permanency. This will be accomplished through the provision of a consistent approach to therapeutic care, a strong focus on recovery from trauma, clear pathways to permanency and a focus on the de-escalation of placements wherever possible. Its configuration is based on minimum staff qualifications and mandatory training, service provider data collection and reporting, new staff positions inclusive of Therapeutic Specialists and Coordinators and the establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care.

The consistent approach to the provision of therapeutic care is supported by a centralised referral pathway (Central Access Unit) and an ITC Service Model based on the 10 Essential Elements of Therapeutic Care which were identified by Verso Consulting (2016) in their review of residential care in NSW.

What are the 10 Elements of Intensive Therapeutic Care in NSW?


What are the core Components of the Intensive Therapeutic Care in NSW?

– the unit dedicated to monitoring and facilitating referrals into the Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) service system. The CAU plays a key role in placement matching, transition monitoring, ensuring system capacity and in allocating funding packages.

– ITTC facilitates time-limited interim placements (maximum 13 weeks) for children and young people with high and complex needs. These are NGO run units but placements can only be accessed through the FACS Central Access Unit (CAU).

  • ITTC provides a period of intensive therapeutic care and a thorough assessment period to identify the needs of children and young people. Care teams in IITC develop therapeutic case plans that incorporate permanency goals, transition planning, supports and interventions tailored to children and young people.

– a foster care placement for siblings or related groups of children and young people (with at least one child or young person with high and complex needs). Care provided by permanent authorised live-in carer/s in a house maintained by a service provider.

supports young people to successfully acquire independent living skills through the provision of accommodation, case management and structured and individualised life skills programs.

residential group environment that provides intensive therapeutic care. Placements are time-limited and are reviewed according to case placement direction. This home-like environment will have a dedicated in-house care team guided by an overarching therapeutic philosophy of care.

The Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care was part of the design of the new ITC system as an intermediary providing subject matter expertise in therapeutic practice, research, independent consultancy and advisory and ITC sector workforce development.

– The ITC model also identifies the critical role of government and non government interfacing agencies who provide a suite of interventions and mainstream services i.e. health and education. Effective collaboration and coordination is required to support children and young people access the services that they require, this will be achieved through the introduction of NGO Therapeutic Specialists, FACS Therapeutic Coordinators and multidisciplinary care team meetings.