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For children and young people who have experienced significant trauma, traditional out-of-home care doesn’t always provide the right support. The Teaching Family Model (TFM) offers a way of caring for them in a family-style setting, where they learn new behaviours by observing others.

In 2022, we expanded from four to nine Berry Street TFM homes. Forty-six young people lived in these homes throughout the year and were cared for by our Teaching Family Model practitioners who provide support 24 hours a day.

We are seeing exceptional results from our TFM houses so far and are continuing to transition all our therapeutic residential care homes to the model – we’re doing all we can to scale it and achieve a wider impact. So, while we remain the only accredited TFM organisation in Australia, we have begun sponsoring other organisations to become accredited too.

Positive results continued for the Teaching Family Model in 2022

TFM continues to show deep impact with children and young people increasing their family connections, engaging more in education or employment, and transitioning out back to family or lower levels of care. These positive results clearly demonstrate how TFM is transforming the residential care system and equipping our young people to create the futures they imagine for themselves.

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) is a tool we use to assess how the children and young people in TFM are tracking across the course of their time in the program. We assess them against the following criteria: traumatic adverse childhood experience, traumatic stress symptoms, child strengths, life domain functioning, behavioural/emotional needs and child risk behaviours.

CANS results this year show 63% of TFM participants experienced meaningful positive change.

Transitioning out of TFM

This year, 63% of TFM participants moved onto family or a lower level of care, such as living independently or with a foster family. This exceptional result far exceeds what we see in other residential care models.

It’s different here, better than my old resi (residential home). We make decisions together.

TFM young person

Family connections

All young people in TFM homes have either increased or kept consistent connection with family this year: 23% reported keeping consistent connection, and 76% reported increasing family connection.

This the best experience the have had in care. The best home. And it gets better as the trust develops.

Family member of young person in TFM home

Engaging in education

Last year, 76% of young people in TFM homes engaged in education or employment, with 32% of those being reengaged after disengagement.

Staying safe

61% of young people reported a feeling of increased safety, which we measure as increased time in the home, increased connection to carers and known positive peers in the community and increased contact when away from the home.

[The Teaching Family Model carers] are so caring, they always look out for me.

TFM young person

Download our TFM Accreditation Data 2022

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Embedding reconciliation at every step

Last year, we also began naming homes in traditional Aboriginal language.

We were honoured to engage with Elders through the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and have Aunty Gail gift us home names in Woi Wurrung.

This is an important milestone to honour the connection between land and language, particularly for Aboriginal children and young people in our care.

Help us expand the Teaching Family Model

We’ve already seen many positive impacts and significant improvements among children and young people in our TFM homes, including reduced trauma symptoms and improved behaviour and school attendance, so they can start to learn and thrive.

We must continue expanding the model across all our residential care homes, so more children and young people across Victoria can experience the life-changing benefits.