Therapeutic residential care in Australia: Taking stock and looking forward

Therapeutic residential care in Australia: Taking stock and looking forward

Sara McLean, Rhys Price-Robertson and Elly Robinson

NCPC Issues No. 35 — November 2011

Therapeutic residential care (TRC) is becoming an increasingly relevant out-of-home care option for children and young people with multiple and complex needs. It is a new and developing approach in Australia, one aimed not simply at containment of the “hard cases”— as is often the case in traditional residential care— but rather at actively facilitating healing and recovery from the effects of abuse, neglect and separation from family. In this Issues Paper, therapeutic residential care is described and contrasted with other models of out-of-home care. The theory and evidence supporting the use of this form of care are examined and used to develop a set of key elements, which, it is argued, should guide the provision of therapeutic residential care in Australia.

Authors and Acknowledgements

Dr Sara McLean is a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Child Protection.

Rhys Price-Robertson is a Senior Research Officer (acting) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Elly Robinson is a Senior Research Fellow (acting) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The authors wish to acknowledge Dr Daryl Higgins for the initial conceptualisation and development of this Issues Paper. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the guidance and feedback provided by members of the National Therapeutic Residential Care Working Group.

Publication details

NCPC Issues
No. 35
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, November 2011.
24 pp.

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