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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Winners in the Victorian Protecting Children Awards

Natasha Anderson and Anita Pell at the 2017 Victorian Protecting Children Awards
The Berry Street Childhood Institute has won two awards in the Victorian Government’s 2017 Protecting Children Awards. Congratulations to Anita Pell, our Senior Advisor, Home Based Care, winner of the Robin Clark Making a Difference Award; and Natasha Anderson from our Y-Change program who won the Modelling a Generous Community Award.

Berry Street Education Model

Classroom and curriculum strategies

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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  • Announcing two new Institute Fellows

    We are delighted to announce that Professor Gillian Schofield and Dr Mary Beek from the University of East Anglia in the UK have accepted our invitation to become Fellows of the Berry Street Childhood Institute. We are proud to be working in partnership with Professor Schofield and Dr Beek, and are seeking to publicly acknowledge the excellence of their work in foster care and the importance of their Secure Base Model.
  • Upcoming Training and Events

    We have recently launched new
    training opportunities on the Berry
    Street Education Model:

  • Congratulations Lauren Oliver

    We are proud to announce that Lauren Oliver, Senior Advisor Youth Engagement, has been awarded a 2016 Winston Churchill Fellowship. She will be focusing on improving our ability to nurture the participation, knowledge and potential of vulnerable young people. The fellowship will allow her to travel in mid-2017 to the UK, USA, Nicaragua, India and South Africa. Read more about Churchill Fellowships here.

  • Understanding communication problems in maltreated children

    Berry Street’s Take Two program collaborated on the Small Talk research study which explored speech and language issues for children who had experienced abuse or neglect. The Small Talk research report, literature review and poster are now available for free download or to purchase here.

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.