Australia’s first program to slash residential care numbers

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Vulnerable children and young people will be able to access an internationally renowned treatment program to move from or avoid residential placements, and live in family based care.

With the support of the Victorian Government, Lisa J Griffiths, CEO of OzChild and Paul McDonald, CEO of Anglicare Victoria announce the introduction of a transformational, evidence based program to the Victorian child welfare system –  Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO®).

TFCO is an intensive short term program that works with young people, carers and a dedicated professional support team to prevent or remove children and young people from residential care.

Ms. Griffiths said “Children and young people do best when in family, or family-like placements, however at present, there are few options beyond residential care for these young people when foster, kinship or birth family placements break down”.

McDonald said “This is a revolutionary program, we expect that 75% of the children and young people who complete the program will either be reunited with their birth family, if safe to do so, or reach their full potential with a loving kin, kith or foster care family”.

TFCO is an empirically proven therapeutic foster care model alternative to residential care placements. It is delivered by a team of specialists who support the treatment foster carer and the young person with practical behaviour based interventions which are designed to enable longer term stability for the young person.

There is a focus on skills training, therapy and academic support for the young person, and support and training for the after care family to support long term stability. It is based around four structured elements of treatment including, consistent reinforcement, structured living environment, close supervision, establishing positive social relationships.

TFCO will be launched in the Southern Melbourne region in April 2017 in partnership between OzChild and Anglicare Victoria. OzChild will support children aged 7-11 and Anglicare Victoria support young people aged 12-17.

The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) is also a partner in the program to help ensure that vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are connected to culture and safe.

The TFCO program has been implemented around the world, including in the USA, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand.

For media enquiries contact Fin Bird, OzChild 0439 388 251 or Julie-Anne Davies, Anglicare 0413 583 919

Read the TFCO media release from the Minister of Families and Children

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