Out of Home Care
Berry Street is currently implementing two innovative approaches, both aimed at better supporting children and young people in the out of home care system.
Teaching Family Model
Berry Street has begun implementing the Teaching-Family Model in our Northern and Western regions.
The Teaching-Family Model is a US developed approach which is recognised as an evidence-based practice. It is a comprehensive model that targets children and young people (6-17) and is conducted in family-style, group care settings. The Teaching-Family Model is based in a cognitive–behavioural approach, which is derived from behavioural principles and learning theory. Teaching interactions are targeted to reduce problem behaviours and increase prosocial behaviours. The model is trauma informed and helps young people identify personal stressors and develop appropriate self-regulation techniques. Overall, goals of the program include reduced problem behaviours, increased prosocial behaviours, increased social skills, accomplishment of age-appropriate tasks, and relationship development.
The model is built around a couple (referred to as teaching-parents) that live with the children. Teaching-parents undergo an intensive year-long training process. In order to maintain their certification, teaching-parents and Teaching-Family Model organisations are evaluated every year, and must meet the rigorous standards set by the Teaching-Family Association. New Zealand agency Youth Horizons is Berry Street’s Teaching-Family Model sponsor, walking us through the accreditation process.
Therapeutic Life Story Work
Berry Street has been working with the UK developer of the Therapeutic Life Story Work (TLSW) approach, Mr Richard Rose, for many years. Through the Berry Street Childhood Institute we present the Professional Diploma in TLSW in Melbourne, Sydney and now Adelaide, as well as one day introductory workshops. We are incorporating TLSW into our work in out of home care through individual case managers and clinicians who are trained in the approach.
As a therapeutic intervention, Life Story Work is undertaken by trained practitioners with children and young people who have experienced trauma, alongside their carer. It focuses on helping the young person to understand their behaviours, feelings and thoughts in light of their past and supports them to reflect on what has happened to them instead of moving into destructive repetitions of past pain and/or re-victimisation.
Richard has published two books on TLSW, Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children: A Model for Practice and Innovative Therapeutic Life Story Work.