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, and we hope you will join us in this conversation. Learn more about 21st Childhood and read articles on our
Good Childhood Blog.

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Doing School Differently 2018

Calling for abstracts - Be part of next year's conference!

Natasha Anderson and Anita Pell at the 2017 Victorian Protecting Children Awards
The inaugural Doing School Differently conference will be back in 2018, this time in the Gold Coast on 28th and 29th June 2018. We encourage you to start thinking about how you can add your voice to this national conversation on flexible and inclusive education. Learn more about the conference and how you can get involved:

Clark Baim

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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  • Launch of Berry Street’s position paper: What makes a good childhood?

    We are pleased to announce the publication of our ‘What makes a Good Childhood?’ report. The aim of this position paper is to provide a summary of current thinking and research surrounding the concept of childhood wellbeing. It outlines an understanding of what is meant by a ‘good childhood’ at Berry Street, as follows:Berry Street knows a good childhood is fundamental to a child’s sense of wellbeing. A good childhood is characterised by stable, responsive, caring relationships in families and in the community. Children thrive in nurturing environments that encourage them to explore and engage safely with the world around them, and support them to fulfil their potential.
    Read the report now >
  • Upcoming Training and Events

    We have many training opportunities coming up in the next couple of months:

    Richard Rose’s 2018 Australian Tour Richard Rose (UK) is a leading expert on Therapeutic Life Story Work and working with 'hard to reach' children and young people
    Throughout the year, Richard will deliver a series of workshops across Australia in Melbourne, Mildura, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart.

  • Protecting Children Awards

    Two staff members of the Berry Street Childhood Institute won awards at 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.

  • Recognising the contribution of young people as contributors with expertise to share

    In 2016, we commissioned the Youth Research Centre to undertake a project examining the effectiveness of our youth leadership and social change program – Y-Change. Their recently published evaluation report describes the significant benefits of the program. It is available now for free download.

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.