May 11, 10-12 PM
Influencer, facilitator, decision maker: The role of the therapeutic specialist
In this community of practice, using video interviews with current and former Therapeutic Specialists, we will reflect on the core role, responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities of working as a therapeutic specialist or similar role in therapeutic out of home care. Using the Therapeutic Specialist Practice Guide, we will reflect on common practice issues and successes.
1 June, 10-12PM
Therapeutic relationships: Making space to practice in chaotic environments
The therapeutic care of children and young people in residential care is founded on a relational model. However, we often hear from those working in these environments that they do not have the time to focus their attention on building and maintaining the therapeutic alliance with the young people. This prevents a fundamental tenant of therapeutic care being fully and consistently implemented. In this community of practice we will:
- Share four practice themes
- Explore how these themes might be better managed.
- Consider individual plans for change.
6 July, 10-12PM
Supporting children and young people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is neuro-developmental condition resulting from pre-natal exposure to alcohol. There is strong international evidence that children with FASD are over-represented in the child protection system, and that prenatal alcohol exposure greatly increases the risk of children entering care, including foster care, residential care, or kinship placements. Many of the indicators of FASD are behavioural and overlap with symptoms of trauma, but FASD is less well understood, so often goes unrecognised.
During the reflective session we will:
- Identify the key features of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
- Discuss the range of possible effects of pre-natal alcohol exposure on young people
- Identify the range of behavioural and emotional presentations of FASD and the overlap with trauma
- Review the features of appropriate support, intervention and planning for individuals affected by FASD
- Identify opportunities to apply learnings within residential space.
10 August, 10-12PM
Cultural Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children is the cornerstone of resilience. Assessing your approach.
It is the right of every Aboriginal child to be immersed in their culture. The right to culture which includes the inherent right to kin, community, cultural practices, and identity relates to and impacts upon the enjoyment of every other human right. It is about connections, relationships and experiences and it is the greatest source of resilience for Aboriginal children. Section 19 of the Charter of Human Rights states that Aboriginal people hold distinct rights and must not be denied the right to enjoy their identity and culture, to maintain their kinship ties and to maintain their distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationship with the land and waters with which they have connection under traditional laws and customs.
This reflective practice session will:
- Explore how those in residential care are maintaining the human rights of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
- How can organisations create a culturally safe environment?
7 September, 10-12 PM
Reflective Practice: How is it supporting therapeutic care?
Effective and meaningful reflective practice is one of the cornerstones of therapeutic care of children and young people. In this community of practice, we will focus on why critical thinking is so important for reflective practice and listen to case studies and examples from the group and other practitioners.
5 October, 10-12PM
Working with young people living in residential care with pre-care experience of domestic violence
Research has established that children and young people who are exposed to family violence are affected by the experience over which they have very little control or understanding. However, this form of abuse is rarely the focus of child protection interventions and that more direct forms of child abuse like sexual abuse.
Negative mental health, poor emotional and physical health, inability to form and sustain peer relationships, compromised ability to self-regulate appropriately and low educational attainment are all cited as consequences of living in a violent environment.
This reflective practice session will consider:
- If residential programs are identifying and intervening with the issue of known exposure to family violence.
- The challenges of residential workers identifying and addressing the trauma associated with family violence.
- How to overcome pre-care toxic relational experiences to make, maintain and sustain relationships.
2 November, 10-12PM
Providing a secure base for LGBTQI young people in residential care
The experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, inter-sex young people in OOHC have been overlooked in policy and practice. The concept of a secure base in attachment theory has made an important contribution to understanding the needs of children and young people in OOHC. LGBTQI young people will have many of the same needs of other young people, but they also face additional challenges. Their emotional, psychological, social well-being depends on how they manage and are supported to manage their adverse histories they share with other young people in OOHC and their minority sexual orientation and gender identities.
In this reflective session:
- Briefly revisit the Secure Base Model
- Use the Secure Base Model (Schofield & Beck, 2014) to explore the care needs of LGBTQI.
- Explore how this could influence practice.
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