The role of the therapeutic specialist in therapeutic care – Practice guide

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Jun 2022

Written by Janise Mitchell Noel MacNamara

This guide has been developed to describe and support the enactment of the role of the Therapeutic Specialist.
The guide provides an overview of the role of the Therapeutic Specialist and the critical function as an enabler in the delivery of effective therapeutic care. The guide will help all staff in the Therapeutic Care system and key external stakeholders to understand the specialist clinical and practice leadership provided by Therapeutic Specialists to staff and key stakeholders in the care and support of children and young people.

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Secondary traumatic stress and staff well-being: understanding compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout in therapeutic care - Practice guide
Secondary traumatic stress and staff well-being: understanding compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout in therapeutic care - Practice guide Written by: Noel MacNamara
This guide has been developed to support organisational congruence and in the provision of trauma informed therapeutic care and the critical need for a well-supported, capable, and stable staff group...
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Frequently asked questions by foster carers: Behaviours that challenge
Frequently asked questions by foster carers: Behaviours that challenge Written by: Noel MacNamara
On any given night there are about 18000 children and young people are in foster care in Australia. Most foster carers will be the first to tell you how rewarding...
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Understanding the needs of kinship carers in Australia - Research brief
Understanding the needs of kinship carers in Australia - Research brief Written by: Lynne McPherson Janise Mitchell Noel MacNamara Kathomi Gatwiri
Kinship care placements in Australia are now more prevalent than foster care. They are the fastest growing form of out-of-home care in this country (AIHW, 2021). On 30 June 2019,...
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Sibling placement in out-of-home care - Research brief
Sibling placement in out-of-home care - Research brief Written by: Lynne McPherson Kathomi Gatwiri Janise Mitchell Noel MacNamara
The significance of sibling relationships for children and young people in out-of-home care is well documented by national and international scholars (Luu, Conley, Wright & Cashmore, 2020). These relationships offer...
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‘Drop and run’ - the experience of kinship carers in the Australian child protection system
‘Drop and run’ - the experience of kinship carers in the Australian child protection system Written by: Noel MacNamara
Recent research was conducted by the Southern Cross University and the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care (McPherson, Gatwiri, Day, Parmenter, Mitchell & Macnamara, 2022) into the experience of kinship...
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Do ‘no touch’ policies in residential care keep workers and children safe? It’s not that simple
Do ‘no touch’ policies in residential care keep workers and children safe? It’s not that simple Written by: Glenys Bristow
Lyn was 16 and had grown up in foster and residential care. Lyn was interviewed about her experience and views about out of home care. She was extremely positive about...
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I'm a FASD specialist - Here are 5 things you should know about it
I'm a FASD specialist - Here are 5 things you should know about it Written by: Prue Walker
You might have seen recent ads about the risks of consuming alcohol in pregnancy and might be wondering why this issue is suddenly a focus in the media. “Every moment...
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What Professor Cindy Blackstock can teach us about trusting children and ourselves
What Professor Cindy Blackstock can teach us about trusting children and ourselves Written by: Kelly Royds
First Nations children's rights activist and 2022 International Childhood Trauma Conference speaker Cindy Blackstock recently said that adults need to trust children with the truth. "They can handle it," Blackstock...
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“If you don’t feed the staff, they’ll eat the kids” Kevin Creeden on self-care and harmful sexual behaviours
“If you don’t feed the staff, they’ll eat the kids” Kevin Creeden on self-care and harmful sexual behaviours Written by: Cyra Fernandes
Kevin Creeden, Director of Assessment and Research at Whitney Academy Massachusetts and a speaker at the 2022 International Child Trauma Conference said in recent training, “If you don’t feed the...
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Cultural Governance Panel
Cultural Governance Panel
Our Cultural Governance Panel is chaired by Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson, a Jiman/Bundjalung Aboriginal woman, and comprises Aboriginal leaders from across NSW and other states in Australia including Cultural Advisor,...
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Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat: Using a curiosity-oriented approach to promote connection to culture and community for young people in out-of-home care
Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat: Using a curiosity-oriented approach to promote connection to culture and community for young people in out-of-home care Written by: Lena Ford
Lena Ford is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who has worked in the field of children, youth, and families for more than 20 years, in both government and community...
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Blocked care: ‘You’re not alone; it’s a brain thing.’
Blocked care: ‘You’re not alone; it’s a brain thing.’ Written by: Glenys Bristow
“No one knows what it is like to care for a child in trauma until they have cared for a child in trauma,” said Noel MacNamara in one of his...
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PhD Scholarship: young people’s experiences of therapeutic residential care-DRAFT1
PhD Scholarship: young people’s experiences of therapeutic residential care-DRAFT1
About Applicants can be based anywhere within Australia The stipend and top up are tax free An Australian first of its kind, large-scale mixed-methods study The opportunity About you What...
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What Was I Thinking? Handling the Amygdala Hijack
What Was I Thinking? Handling the Amygdala Hijack Written by: Noel MacNamara
Remember that time when you put the child you care for back to bed for the fourth time? Your thoughts suggested a level of desperation and wishful thinking, hoping that...
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Asked but not heard: Another report calls for change in out-of-home care
Asked but not heard: Another report calls for change in out-of-home care Written by: Kelly Royds
A new report released by the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, Zoë Robinson, calls on the government to listen and respond to the voices of children and young...
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12 ways foster and kinship carers can promote compassion and self-compassion in children and young people
12 ways foster and kinship carers can promote compassion and self-compassion in children and young people Written by: Noel MacNamara
What are Compassion and Self-Compassion?Compassion is the ability to feel and connect with the suffering of another human being, self-compassion is the ability to feel and connect with one’s own...
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‘There was no support’: Getting kinship care support right
‘There was no support’: Getting kinship care support right Written by: Noel MacNamara Janise Mitchell
We did not and am still not receiving support requested or needed. Case managers or staff change without us being informed. Phone messages left at their offices and drop in...
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The Caregiver’s healing gift- a mindful presence
The Caregiver’s healing gift- a mindful presence Written by: Sally Denning
For children and young people that have experienced trauma abuse and neglect, the presence of positive, safe, and attuned relationships can be significant in supporting their recovery. Actions that promote...
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Trauma, loss and parenting – care leavers’ experiences of having their own children during transitions from care
Trauma, loss and parenting – care leavers’ experiences of having their own children during transitions from care Written by: Jade Purtell
This post is written by Jade Purtell, a multidisciplinary researcher and practitioner focused on out-of-home care and transitions from care experiences and policy. This research is funded by an Australian Government...
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“Powerful children who can control their worlds are happier, secure children,” Q&A with Billy Black
“Powerful children who can control their worlds are happier, secure children,” Q&A with Billy Black Written by: Kelly Royds Billy Black
This month, we are thrilled to welcome Billy Black to our team at the CETC as a Care Experience Resource and Training Specialist. Billy has advocated for children in care...
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Supporting LGTBQIA+ Young People in Care to Explore Identity
Supporting LGTBQIA+ Young People in Care to Explore Identity Written by: Billy Black
In this month’s Community of Practice workshop, we explored the additional challenges that LGBTQIA+ young people face in care, reflecting on how to provide a secure base in care and...
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Extending care support past age 18 to 21
Extending care support past age 18 to 21 Written by: Billy Black
How old were you when you moved out of home for the first time? Did you continue to get support from home, perhaps for an emergency loan, help to file...
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