Program for young people
Yarrow Place's Intensive Therapeutic Care Program provides support for young people who are under the Guardianship of the Minister. It is a partnership model which provides a targeted service for young people who are identified as having absconding behaviours and/or who are at risk of sexual exploitation.
The service also contributes to sector development through training and consultation around working with ‘at risk’ young people via a therapeutic care framework.
The current model arose from Recommendation 42 of the ‘Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry 2008’ which identified that there was a need to provide flexible and intensive therapeutic support to young people who abscond and who are at risk of sexual exploitation.
Developed with the support of learning from the Berry Street ‘Take Two’ Program in Victoria, the Intensive Therapeutic Care Program provides flexible, intensive, assertive engagement approaches to working with young people identified as fitting the criteria for the program. The relationships that are built and maintained between the client, case manager, therapist and therapeutic care team are recognised as an essential part of the therapeutic process.
The Intensive Therapeutic Care Program bases its work on the following frameworks and theories:
- attachment theory, adolescent development, grief and loss, trauma recovery model and an understanding of the neurobiology of trauma
- understanding of sexual assault – a ‘Victim’s Rights’ Perspective
- a flexible, assertive, outreach engagement model that works with young people and their significant others to support therapeutic interventions and environments.
At Yarrow Place we take an assertive engagement approach and seek to:
- address the stigma attached to young people who are under Guardianship of the Minister
- establish and maintain a sense of safety, belonging, connection, respect and privacy
- build the capacity of the young person to develop positive relationships.
Therapeutic teams form the basis on which the Intensive Therapeutic Care Program operates. These teams are made up of significant support agencies and people in the young person’s life, and may include:
- Department of Education and Child Development (DECD)
- Yarrow Place and other youth services, including Metropolitan Youth Health
- a range of accommodation services including Housing SA
- the young person’s family or carers as appropriate
- additional support agencies – these may include but are not limited to:
- alternative care providers
- child and youth health providers
- Relationships Australia (RASA)
- Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
The role of the Senior Clinician
The Senior Clinician has four main roles:
- to provide intensive therapeutic support to the young person
- to assist the care team and others to provide intervention that is informed by attachment and trauma theory, grief and loss theory and child/adolescent development knowledge
- to address therapeutic gaps in the young person’s network with the view to developing and maintaining attachments that will assist the young person in to the future with a long term view across their life span
- to provide training to other relevant services and stakeholders involved with this client group on:
- responding to disclosures of sexual assault, including legal, medical and counselling rights and options
- attachment theory
- trauma theory
- grief and loss theory
- child/adolescent development
- neurobiology of trauma
Eligibility for the Yarrow Place Intensive Therapeutic Care Program
- Children aged 12 to 25 (must be under 18 at the time of referral)
- Current concerns regarding absconding behaviours and risk or experience of sexual exploitation
- A Families SA worker who is willing and able to be partnered in the therapeutic care approach is essential
- As a standard the young person must be under a Families SA Guardianship order until 18 years; however this can be negotiated for specific cases
- Referrals can be made directly to the Intensive Therapeutic Care Program Coordinator
- Priority for allocation will be given to younger clients who are assessed as being at higher risk of harm
- Priority will be given to young people in Community Residential Care and Emergency Care. Young people in foster care or other stable family-based care at the time of referral will not be considered a priority for allocation unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Practice within the Intensive Therapeutic Care Program is framed by Legislation including:
- Children’s Protection Act 1993
- Young Offenders Act 1993
- Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007
- Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009
More about working with young people:
Some of the issues for children and young people in care with complex needs include the following:
- There may be a long history of trauma based in child abuse and/or neglect. This interrupts the ‘normal’ stages of social, emotional and physical development.
- The earliest social developmental stage is the mastering of ‘trust’. If this is not securely developed through a young person’s learning, problems such as attachment disorders may eventuate.
Other issues may include:
- drug and alcohol misuse
- mental health issues, or difficulties in managing emotional regulation
- sexual exploitation, promiscuity and problem sexualised behaviours
- trust difficulties
- high risk-taking behaviours
- lowered self-esteem
- relationship difficulties
- suicidal behaviours
- disorganised attachment
- borderline personality traits
- eating disorders