The Rapidly Evolving Shape and Function of Residential Care in Australia – Keeping the Focus on Good Practice and Positive Outcomes for Young People

Room: Cherokee

Australia has de-institutionalized faster and more extensively than most other developed countries. State funding bodies are seeking to reduce the already low levels of residential care provision, to keep young people in care for the shortest time possible, and require that all care or treatment be provided in small group homes. The rationale is that residential settings are inherently problematic and to be avoided, but where necessary, small group homes are less institutional, promote positive connections and are safer. There is some logic to these priorities but this presentation explores some unintended negative consequences for young people and service organisations. There is also a growing body of evidence that small group settings are not necessarily safe or stable. In this presentation we look at the ways one large residential provider is endeavoring to keep the focus on meeting the needs of young people and their families in this problematic policy environment through a commitment to innovation, flexibility and good practice.


Simon Walsh

Chief Executive Director , Allambi Care; Australia


Howard Bath, Ph.D.

Consultant, Program Director , Allambi Care