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Holden advises Australian Children’s Commissioner

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holdenIn March Martha Holden (Director of the Residential Child Care Project) traveled to the Northern Territory, Australia at the invitation of Howard Bath, the Children's Commissioner of the region. The Children's Commissioner, whose core function is to ensure the well-being of vulnerable children, is working to overcome disadvantages that Indigenous children and families face and improve their quality of life. Currently there are a large number of Indigenous children placed in out-of-home care. Residential programs (mainly smaller group homes) have grown rapidly in response to demand, but with little theoretical coherence or regulation. The current departmental administrators are well aware of this issue and are seeking to chart a new course. Holden's visit was seen by administrators as an opportunity to gain information on theory, structure, monitoring, and quality care that will shape their thinking and planning.

Additionally, youth services and residential care staff and professionals attended Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) Seminars presented by Holden in Alice Springs and Darwin. The attendees were introduced to the CARE therapeutic care model and its six key principles of being:

  • developmentally-focused
  • family-involved
  • relationship-based
  • competence-centered
  • trauma-informed
  • ecologically-orientated

 

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Australia    CARE    childhood    children    international    Martha Holden    RCCP    residential care   
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Martha Holden visits Australia to present and advise on the CARE model

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During the month of August, Martha Holden (Director, Residential Child Care Project) visited Australia to attend The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (ACWA) conference and meet with local residential services personnel and a university's child protection research center.

The ACWA conference was held August 20-22 in Sydney. Holden co-presented a workshop, CARE: Creating Conditions for Change on implementing the CARE model in two organizations in Australia with Diana Boswell, Director of the Thomas Wright Institute, Canberra; Hilary Martin, Director of Marymead Child and Family Services, Canberra; and Leith Sterling, Director of Professional Development, Anglicare Southern Queensland, Brisbane. Holden and Boswell have been working with these two residential services organizations for the past year helping them implement the CARE program model throughout their organizations.

There is currently great interest in implementing a more therapeutic approach to care for children in statutory care living in residential facilities in South Australia. Holden was invited by the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia to meet with the new Director of Residential Services (the statutory agency) in South Australia, Dana Shen, who is actively exploring the application of a therapeutic model of care with staff and providers. She also presented to managers from the statutory agency and the principle service providers about the principles of therapeutic care in the CARE model and to discuss implementation. Finally, she met with the Australian Centre for Child Protection research team to talk about the evaluation process in the CARE model and discuss how to embed some sort of evaluation and quality control in re-designed services from the outset. The Centre saw the potential to shape the development and nature of residential services in the State into the future.

 

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CARE    children    international    Martha Holden    RCCP   
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