Berry Street Childhood Institute


Berry Street believes all children should have a good childhood. Unfortunately we know this is not the case for many children in Australia. Whilst the majority of today's children are flourishing, the wellbeing of an increasing number of others appears to be in decline.

The Berry Street Childhood Institute has been established to respond on a national scale to the complex social issues that impact on children’s experience of childhood. We aim to do this by collaboratively building & sharing knowledge, encouraging public dialogue and mobilising leadership.

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Across Berry Street we are developing a number of innovative services and practices with the aim of better supporting children who have not experienced a good childhood.

The Berry Street Childhood Institute understands the importance of thoroughly evaluating new approaches so we can assess their effectiveness and impact. Through partnerships with universities, other research institutes and our Fellows, we are scrutinising our initiatives with a view to sharing what we learn with other service providers, government and academics.

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We are increasingly facing the co-occurrence of multiple and complex social problems. For children, their vulnerability is heightened in families experiencing a range of interrelated issues such as substance abuse, mental illness, family violence and poverty.

A number of leading experts in childhood also point to social, technological and economic changes which are impacting on the experience of childhood in a way that is unprecedented. These changes add to the complexity for already vulnerable children.

We are seeking to bring discussion about these challenges confronting childhood into the public domain.

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Doing School Differently

: National Flexible & Inclusive Education Conference in 2016

This is early notice of a conference which will focus on establishing successful educational opportunities and pathways for disenfranchised young people. It will be held in Melbourne on 15th & 16th September 2016. More details will be available over the coming months but in the meantime, put these dates in your calendar! We will be encouraging youth participation so please advise your students of the dates.

This conference involves a collaboration between: Edmund Rice Education Australia Youth+, The Victoria Institute at Victoria University, and the Berry Street Childhood Institute.

Berry Street Education Model

The Berry Street Education Model provides schools with the training, curriculum and strategies to engage the most challenging students. It is unique because it educates schools to promote cognitive and behavioural change, thereby re-engaging the young person in learning and progressing their academic achievement.

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  • New resource for foster and kinship carers

    Raising the Bar is a resource pack aimed at helping foster and kinship carers support the educational needs of children in their care. Order a copy.
  • Solving the Foster Care Conundrum: A Call to Action

    This monograph summarises Anita Pell’s learnings from her 2008 Churchill Fellowship and calls for a better system of caring for children in foster care.Access the report.
  • Training for foster carers and their workers

    We are pleased to be delivering this training Life After Loss: Its effect on the developing child and you for the Foster Care Association of Victoria.

  • Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care Study

    The University of Melbourne Department of Social Work and the Berry Street Childhood Institute are partnering in this study about the learning and wellbeing of foster and kinship care children during early childhood. Australian carers are encouraged to participate in the study by completing a survey.

Berry Street was first established on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respect to their Elders, past and present, and to all the traditional custodians of land throughout Australia.