5 December 2022

The Life Without Barriers South Australia Child, Youth and Family team has been awarded CARE Certification.

Children hold hands in a circle outdoors.

After three years of hard work and dedication, the South Australian Child, Youth and Family (CYF) team has been awarded CARE certification. The team undertook a rigorous implementation process that included training hundreds of staff and aligning their processes, practices, and systems with the CARE principles.

The South Australian team’s certification follows the Queensland team’s certification earlier this year and is part of Life Without Barriers’ aim to roll out CARE nationally. The overarching purpose of this work is to ensure that Life Without Barriers offers the best trauma-informed practice supports to the children and families we support.

What is the CARE model?

CARE is an evidence-based, trauma-informed model developed by the Residential Child Care Project at Cornell University.

The CARE model helps us to deliver great services by:

  • Influencing the way we think about children - it helps us form relationships, helps children build their competencies, and guides our interactions with children and their families.

  • Guiding us to make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of children.

  • Giving us a shared language and understanding so we can be consistent in our practice and work towards a common goal.

Martha Holden, Director Residential Child Care Project Cornell University, congratulated the Life Without Barriers' SA CYF team on being awarded CARE certification.

“CARE certification and an ongoing partnership with Cornell University is designed to assist organisations to sustain the CARE model, avoid program drift and adaptations, and, in partnership with Cornell, develop program innovations that can be included in the model to keep pace with changing influences.

"This status is also to encourage contributions to the field through publications, translational research efforts, presentations, and communities of practice." Martha said.

"Life Without Barriers South Australia has demonstrated many of these objectives and maintained a long-term commitment to improving the lives of the children and families that it serves."

“Thank you and the Life Without Barriers National and South Australia teams for all of the contributions you have made to children, families, the Residential Child Care Project and the field. We look forward to many more years of productive and enjoyable collaboration.”

Staff members celebrate CARE certification with CARE cupcakes.

Child, Youth and Family Executive Director Jane French is pleased with how the team has embraced the CARE principles and continues to deploy their learnings day in and day out across our residential, foster and kinship care programs. 

“I sincerely congratulate the South Australian team on the determination that has led to being awarded CARE certification. 

"How we approach caring for vulnerable children and young people defines us, and CARE gives us the framework and tools to support children to heal from their trauma. Thank you to Martha Holden and our partners at Cornell, who have been a great support to Life Without Barriers over the years." Jane shared.

"We look forward to this ongoing partnership into the future.”

Staff created a visual to represent care from playdough of a house with human figures, a heart, a sun and the word CARE.

CARE has been implemented by 50 agencies internationally. It comprises a worldwide network of practitioners that contribute to the research and evaluation of the CARE program and share and learn from each other. Visit our CARE model webpage to learn more.

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