Reimagine - March 2022
Message from our CEO
With a new year often comes transformation. Whether it’s a transformation of yourself, your work/life balance or your home. This transformation is motivated by a belief that there exists a better version of ourselves, our life or our environment.
For the children, young people and families we work with, we also know that there’s a brighter future ahead. At Berry Street, we’re helping to reimagine the children and family services system to ensure they can be safe, thriving and hopeful. With your help, we have already done so much to create better futures for those in our care. Thank you!
In 2021, we continued to reimagine residential care for children and young people, transitioning traditional care homes to the Teaching Family Model (TFM). We’re the first organisation in Australia to receive accreditation from the Teaching Family Association and we’re now helping another agency to roll it out. This means more children and young people will get the specialist support they need to thrive.
Driven by our unwavering belief that all children and young people deserve access to high-quality education, no matter their start in life, we continue to invest in the Berry Street School and the Berry Street Education Model. With major works and expansion plans underway for both, we’re excited to be bringing trauma-informed education to many more schools across Australia this year.
Thank you again – please don’t underestimate the impact your support has on the children, young people and families we work with. I hope you enjoy this edition of Reimagine and learn how your support is changing lives.
Chief Executive Officer
A transformative year for the Berry Street School
Berry Street School is going from strength to strength, as we continue to transform our four campuses – Ballarat, Morwell, Noble Park and Shepparton – to help our students meet their full potential.
The past two years have been so hard for all students, but especially for those who were already disengaged from mainstream education due to trauma.
Our new campus in Narre Warren will help more young people to heal, learn and thrive with the specialist support and education they need.
With the help of our generous supporters, we’ll be able to give our students a purpose-built space where they feel they belong, where they feel safe and supported, and one that has the facilities to help them recover from trauma.
Our new Narre Warren campus will include:
- Hands-on learning facilities with indoor/outdoor art spaces to build critical and creative thinking skills.
- A dedicated music room for students to discover new ways to express themselves, listen and grow in confidence.
- An outdoor learning environment that includes sensory play equipment and beautiful landscaping, so students feel connected and part of something special.
- Digital learning tools to facilitate new and innovative ways of learning.
If you ever need help, just find one of the teachers and ask, they won’t brush you off and they will support you and talk you through whatever you need help with.
Q & A with the Berry Street School Acting Principal
Our Acting Principal, Rebecca Robinson, had always wanted to work with children and young people in out-of-home care and was excited to join the Berry Street School team in 2020.
1. How does the Berry Street School work?
The Berry Street School works just as any other school would – we follow the Victorian Curriculum and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning. However, we offer so much flexibility and so many options for ways we can support young people back into school.
Our class sizes are a lot smaller, with 4–10 students, at least one teacher and one education support member per class. This allows us to tailor our teaching to each student so that we’re meeting their different learning needs.
2. Why is it so important for our young people to have a purpose-built campus?
Many of our students have experienced trauma, social disadvantage and disengagement from school and as a result, have a lot of needs. In transforming the Narre Warren campus, we have considered their multi-faceted sensory and learning needs every step of the way. Creating a purpose-built campus for our students is so important, as it shows them that not only are they safe, but that they’re worthy of a beautiful space.
3. Do you have a message for our supporters?
I am deeply grateful for your support of our school and students, some of whom are the most vulnerable young people in our community. We believe that all young people can thrive when provided with the opportunities, support and environment to do so. With your help, we are investing in their future and giving our young people every opportunity for success.
The Teaching Family Model is reimagining residential care
The Teaching Family Model (TFM) is an innovative, trauma-informed model of residential care for children and young people who have experienced significant trauma.
Up to 4 children and young people live together in a house, supported by TFM practitioners 24-hours a day in a family-style setting. With all the support they receive, many children can return to their families or to a less intensive level of care.
The evidence-based Teaching Family Model continues to be our flagship program to reimagine the system and transform residential care.
In 2021, we:
- Ran 5 TFM homes, supporting 27 children and young people
- Became the first agency in Australia to receive accreditation from the Teaching Family Association
- Expanded across the Northern and South-Eastern regions of Victoria
- Started Ballarat on its TFM journey.
In 2022 (and beyond), we’ll continue to transition more of our residential care homes to the Teaching Family Model. We’re also proud to be supporting another organisation to roll out the model so that more children across Australia receive the care they need to flourish into their future.
My life is really good; this is a place I know I can be safe.
Are you our Run Melbourne 2022 charity champion?
Run Melbourne is back on July 24 and we’re ready to hit the ground running with you in 2022!
Don’t miss your opportunity to walk, jog or run through our iconic city, while raising funds for a worthy cause. Get in early and join Team Berry Street as a Champion Fundraiser.
What you’ll get:
- Free entry into the event (any distance)
- Special Charity Champion Runner start zone
- Official race-day photo
- Berry Street running singlet.
But most importantly, you’ll help young people and families in our community be safe, thriving and hopeful.
I am passionate about giving children the best start to life... I want to use my running for good and help make a difference in the world.
Support us by giving a one-off gift
Your donation can help give children a brighter future
Your donation can help us provide safe homes
Your donation can help us recruit and train foster carers
Your donation can help provide a safe home for children and young people
Support us by giving a monthly gift
Your donation will help fund Early Intervention programs to help prevent family violence before it starts
Your donation can provide counselling to help children recover from experiencing violence and abuse
Your donation can help children ease back into their local school or attend the Berry Street school
Your donation can help provide a safe home for children and young people
*Names in some stories have been changed in the interest of protection and privacy. In order to protect the identity of our clients, we only use images of models and volunteers. The people pictured in our stories are not connected to the case studies presented.