What is effective therapeutic care?

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Publication details

Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care 2019, What is effective therapeutic care?, research briefing prepared by L McPherson, K Gatwiri, N Cameron & N Parmenter, Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.


This research briefing is an introduction to therapeutic care as a preferred response for children and young people who have experienced complex trauma and are unable to live at home. Whilst therapeutic care programs have been in existence throughout the United States of America, the United Kingdom, in the Nordic countries and other parts of Europe for many decades, they are a relatively new approach in the out of home care context in Australia. There is little agreement in the literature about what is effective therapeutic care, with strongly held views expressed against and for models of group care (Ainsworth & Hansen, 2018; Hurley, Lambert, Gross, Thompson & Farmer, 2017). What follows is an overview of the emerging research knowledge in this complex arena, messages from young people who have experienced care and a summary of messages from the research.

Additional information

Australian Childhood Foundation delivered in partnership with with Southern Cross University