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Adolescent Therapeutic Residential Services: Enabling Familial Experiences Through Continuum Of Care Presenters Vanessa Smith – Manager Foster Care Melissa Muller- Acting Manager Residential Care. Adolescent Therapeutic Residential Services.

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Adolescent Therapeutic

Residential Services:

Enabling Familial Experiences Through Continuum Of Care


Vanessa Smith – Manager Foster Care

Melissa Muller- Acting Manager Residential Care

adolescent therapeutic residential services
Adolescent Therapeutic Residential Services

CatholicCare has delivered therapeutic Intensive Residential Care services since 2005 

CatholicCare Broken Bay currently has 6 residential houses across Northern Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW

 All referrals received are from the Metro Intensive Support Services (ISS) or Family and Community Services (FaCS)

therapeutic care
Therapeutic Care

What is therapeutic care?

CatholicCare’s delivery of therapeutic care

Strengthening CYP’s positive relationships

Supporting CYP in transitioning to less intensive care

Working towards restoration

delivery of therapeutic care
Delivery of Therapeutic Care

CatholicCare bases its service delivery on

Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) principles

Anglin Framework principles

Continuum of care approach

arc framework
ARC Framework

A flexible framework with three core domains: Attachment, Self Regulation and Competency

continuum of care
Continuum of Care

CatholicCare defines the continuum of care approach as the process of planning and managing the care of a CYP, through the provision of the range of services they require to facilitate their movement through the care system. (Cheers and Mondy, 2009)

continuum of care1
Continuum of Care

The ability to manage the care of CYP through




Internal placement transitions

Discharge and provisions of aftercare

catholiccare s implementation and practice
CatholicCare’s Implementation and Practice

Therapeutic care

Staff education

Staff supports

Structural support

therapeutic care1
Therapeutic Care

Responding appropriately to pain and pain based behaviours

Application of ARC principals

Developing a sense of normality

Creating an extra-familial living environment

staff education
Staff Education

Education and training

Professional development

Topic-targeted reflection sessions

Clinical advice

staff supports
Staff Supports

Regular supervision

Clinical support

Vicarious Trauma testing

Funded self-care packages

structural support
Structural Support

Client matching

Enabling specific Shared Needs residential houses and programs

Clinical support

Routines and rituals

program outcome achievements
Program Outcome Achievements

Positive culture change within homes

Better trauma-educated and informed carer teams

Placement continuity for CYP

Increased number of CYP engaging in Life Story work

CYP restoration to family

Self-placed CYP restoration to family with outreach

Longevity of care

program challenges and barriers
Program Challenges and Barriers

CYP with incomplete narratives of why they are in care

Funding changes impacting service delivery

Carers learning and becoming adept in the significance of safe attachment

shared needs placement example
Shared Needs Placement Example

First under-12’s house opened in June 2012

Vision for under-12’s house:

Bridge or stepping stone to foster care or possible restoration to family

Target risk minimisation

Assist in stabilising CYP’s placement

Prepare CYP for less intensive model of care

factors considered when establishing under 12 s house
Factors Considered when Establishing Under-12’s House

Environment / location

Selection of carers

Culture and programming

environment location
Environment / Location

Near beaches and well resourced

Carers who live in the area and able to utilise their community networks

Large house that provides children with:

Safe, tranquil and personalised individual space

Spacious shared living areas to support relationship-building

carers selection criteria
Carers Selection Criteria

Keen to work with under-12s target group

Experienced with younger children and their developmental needs

Local knowledge and networks

Caring, nurturing and attuned

Committed to consistent and structured routines

Adept in protective behaviours

Supportive of family relationships

culture and programming
Culture and Programming

Age-appropriate signage and house agreement

Doors locked at dinner time for safety

Age-appropriate structured activities, limited TV

Education of residents at separate schools

Supported in individual hobbies

Therapy and Life Story work

Carer response to trauma-informed behaviour

House mother role


Melissa Muller

CatholicCare Out of Home Care - Residential

Vanessa Smith

Catholic Care Out of Home Care – Foster Care


Therapeutic residential care in Australia: Taking stock and looking forward. NCPC Issues No. 35, 2011,

Staffed Group Homes for Children and Youth; Constructing a Theoretical Framework for Understanding, James P. Anglin (2002)

Cheers, Deirdre and Mondy, Stephen (2009) ‘Enhancing placement stability via a continuum-of-care approach: Reflections from the Australian context’, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 4;2, 148-153