As essential staff in therapeutic residential care, what’s your education story, and why does it matter?

At a personal level, we all understand the power of education and its role in shaping our own lives. As well as secondary schooling, most essential staff in therapeutic residential care will also have had the benefit of university or vocational education. But how well are you and your organization leveraging your understanding of your own education story in order to improve child and youth outcomes? Maybe you were the first in your family to gain a higher education qualification? Perhaps you overcame the odds through hard work, determination and perseverance? Or maybe you weren’t expected to go on to university or vocational education and might not have done so without help and support from others or a timely stroke of luck?

This interactive workshop is about understanding your own education story and how your personal experiences shape your beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes towards the education and learning of children and youth in therapeutic residential care. It will also explore some of the knowledge and skills that essential staff in therapeutic residential care need if they are to meaningfully contribute towards improving education outcomes, and in turn some non-education outcomes too.


Iain Matheson, Ed.D.

Director , Research Centre for Better Outcomes from Fostering and Residential Care


Patricia McNamara, PhD

Senior Fellow - Honorary , Department of Social Work University of Melbourne