Not in Isolation

In 2014, Michelle Taylor was awarded a Creswick Foundation Fellowship, enabling her to visit the United States and Canada and learn more about neurodevelopmentally informed interventions with traumatised infants, children and adolescents. This report outlines what she learned from her visits to five ChildTrauma Academy Flagship sites and to two ChildTrauma Academy Fellows. Michelle is now Director & Clinical Psychologist, Blossomtree Psychology, as well as an Associate of the Berry Street Childhood Institute.
Not In Isolation: The Importance of Relationships and Healing in Childhood Trauma

Taking Time Literature Review & Framework

Take Two developed Taking Time: A Literature Review and the Taking Time: Framework for the NSW Government Department of Family & Community Services. These documents are designed to promote trauma-informed practice amongst service providers supporting people with intellectual disability.
Taking Time: A Literature Review
Taking Time: Framework

Reforming the Foster Care System in Australia

Anita Pell and Marilyn McHugh

This report contends that major reform of the foster care system is required to arrest the decline in foster care as an effective alternative care option. The authors propose the establishment of a professionalised system within which all carers are equipped, resourced and supported to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care. The new model integrates four key components:
  • Foster parent recruitment, training and assessment
  • Placement support
  • Foster parent network support
  • Financial resources.
Reforming the Foster Care System in Australia – Executive Summary
Reforming the Foster Care System in Australia – Full Report

An examination of the progress of Recruitment and Retention of Foster Carers in the USA, UK and in the Republic of Ireland

Anita Pell

In 2008, when she was Berry Street’s Director in the Hume Region, Anita Pell was awarded The Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship. Anita was very concerned about the crisis in Australian Foster Care: foster carers were leaving the care system in alarming numbers at the same time as there was a decline in the number of people applying to become foster carers. She visited international agencies to obtain information about strategies to avert the crisis. The report on Anita’s Churchill Fellowship outlines her recommendations for a more professionalised foster care system in Australia.
An examination of the progress of Recruitment and Retention of Foster Carers in the USA, UK and in the Republic of Ireland

Berry Street Stand By Me Program: Interim Evaluation Report

Stand By Me is an innovative Berry Street program being piloted in the Northern Region of Melbourne. It provides an intensive generalist case work support service that targets young people leaving the care system to better support a successful transition to independent adult living. Berry Street has commissioned Monash University to undertake a formative and impact evaluation of the Stand By Me pilot, and this is the interim report of the evaluation thus far.
Berry Street Stand By Me Program: Interim Evaluation Report

Literature review: Young people at high risk of sexual exploitation, absconding and other significant harms

Annette Jackson, Director, Take Two, Berry Street

This literature review was developed as part of a project for the Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People. It examines what is known about young people who have high risk behaviours, with a particular focus on the phenomena of sexual exploitation and absconding behaviours.
Literature Review: Young people at high risk

Fostering with pride: two Australian community organisations’ experiences in recruiting and retaining Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) foster carers

Meaghan Holden and Amanda Jones, Berry Street, and Greg Antcliff, The Benevolent Society

The number of children and young people entering out-of-home care is increasing at an alarming rate. However, there has been no corresponding increase in the number of foster carers. Retention of existing carers is also becoming more challenging as the carer population ages, foster children have increasingly complex needs, and the financial compensation, training and support for foster carers remains inadequate.

As the need for new foster carers becomes urgent, foster care organisations are increasingly looking to previously untapped sources of foster carers. Two of Australia’s oldest and largest child and family welfare organisations, The Benevolent Society and Berry Street, both openly and actively recruit foster carers – couples and singles - from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities in New South Wales and Victoria.

Being ‘out’ about targeted recruitment of LGBTI foster carers is far from the norm, however, within Australian foster care agencies. While many agencies accept applications from prospective LGBTI carers, very few actively and explicitly recruit from this group.
Berry Street and The Benevolent Society partnered this year to undertake a project to:

  • understand the journey each organisation underwent in making the transition to open targeted recruitment of LGBTI foster carers;
  • describe and understand each organisation’s recruitment campaign and the effectiveness of their marketing strategies; and
  • understand what barriers LGBTI foster carers anticipated, or actually experienced as carers, and what supports they valued and experienced.
Fostering with Pride Snapshot

Not One Size Fits All: Understanding the social & emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children

Muriel Bamblet, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Margarita Frederico, La Trobe University, Jane Harrison, Annette Jackson, Berry Street Take Two, & Peter Lewis, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency

The “Not One Size Fits All” report presents the findings of an exploratory study which aimed to find or develop culturally specific, holistic and useful assessment approaches to more accurately and sensitively describe the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children. This study was funded by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
Not One Size Fits All

Take Two Evaluation Reports

The Berry Street Take Two program is funded by the Victorian Department of Human Services to provide a therapeutic service for traumatised children and young people most of whom are clients of Child Protection. Take Two is a partnership between Berry Street, La Trobe University School of Social Work and Social Policy, Mindful – Centre for Training and Research in Developmental Health and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

Third Evaluation Report
More than Words – The Language of Relationships: Take Two – Third Evaluation Report. School of Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia
Margarita Frederico, La Trobe University, Annette Jackson and Carly Black, Berry Street Take Two

This is the third in a series of three evaluation reports on the Take Two program. It continues on from the previous reports in describing the Take Two program’s development for the first five years and analysing data relating to the children and their important relationships from 2004 to June 2007. It reports on promising findings arising from analysis of outcome measures and discusses implications for future program development and research.
Download third Take Two evaluation report

Second Evaluation Report
"Give Sorrow Words" - A Language for Healing, Take Two - Second Evaluation Report 2004 - 2005, School of Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.
Margarita Frederico, La Trobe University, Annette Jackson and Carly Black, Berry Street Take Two

This second evaluation report describes the program, client group and interventions over the first two years of operation (2004-2005). This report includes preliminary outcomes data, feedback from children, parents, carers, teachers and other workers and a summary of the findings.
Download second Take Two evaluation report

First Evaluation Report
Report focus is on the inaugural year of operation, 2004.
Download first Take Two evaluation report

Evaluation of the CARTWHEELS Cathedral Ranges Project

The CARTWHEELS program was developed in response to the devastating fires of 2009. Berry Street, with the support of the Royal Children’s Hospital, worked collaboratively with seven schools across the Cathedral Cluster to assist the school communities in their recovery efforts. Through the program, students were enabled to explore issues associated with their emotional wellbeing using the performing and visual arts.
Introductory letter to the CARTWHEELS Evaluation
Cartwheels evaluation report

Therapeutic Foster Care: Integrating mental health and child welfare to provide care for traumatised children

Lisa McClung, Berry Street

This literature review provides an overview of therapeutic care which aims to integrate mental health and child welfare theory, research and practice. Several national and international therapeutic care programs are discussed with a particular reference to the training required to support such models. A potential therapeutic foster care model based on a trauma and attachment focus is outlined alongside useful references for the reader.
Therapeutic Foster Care report

Just Beginnings, The report of Berry Street’s Leaving Care scoping project

Isla Whyte, Berry Street

In 2011 Berry Street was funded by the Ian Potter Foundation to examine the issues and outcomes for young people leaving the care of the state. A literature review was undertaken outlining the policy, legislative and programmatic context as well as the results from international and Australian research. On the basis of this review and consultations with Berry Street staff and external stakeholders, the key elements of successful interventions were outlined and recommendations made for program development and advocacy.
Just Beginning report

A report into the benefit of father involvement

Timothy O’Leary, The Australian Fatherhood Initiative

The Report is divided into two sections: Part One focuses on the benefits of involved fathers and Part Two explores the experiences of dads who were surveyed across the areas of parenting, work-life balance, inspiration and also touches on the ingredients of father-inclusive practice for professionals.
A report into the benefit of father involvement

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.