Creating conditions for positive change

Supporting children and families in a way that creates conditions for positive change, Life Without Barriers uses the CARE model, which was developed at the Residential Child Care Project at Cornell University. Guiding our work with children and families, this evidence-based, trauma-informed model:

  • Influences the way we think about children. It focuses on our relationships to help children build new competencies and guides our interactions with children and their families.
  • Helps us make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of children.
  • Emphasises that everybody does well if they can and by working together we can create conditions for positive changes in the lives of children.
  • Gives us a shared language and understanding so we can be consistent in our practice and work towards a common goal.

For more information

For more information about implementing the CARE model in your agency, contact:

The six CARE principles

There are 6 CARE principles we use to guide our work with children, young people and families. They help us understand the impact of trauma on a child's development and help us teach children skills in a developmentally appropriate way. Our carers apply this model in the way they look after, teach, guide and support children.

Relationship based

Children need trusting, meaningful relationships with the adults who care for them so they build emotional and social confidence for other aspects of their lives.

Developmentally Focused

Strategies for change are more effective when they are matched to where the child is at. We need to use strategies that challenge but do not overwhelm children.

Trauma Informed

Always consider the impact trauma can have on a child’s development and modify our expectations and interactions accordingly.

Family Involved

A child’s identity is tied to their family, community and culture. Involving family and supporting cultural connections is a vital component of wellbeing and permanency.

Competency Centred

Children need to be helped to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to negotiate everyday life.

Ecologically Oriented

Children need a caring and supportive environment with helpful models showing them how to care for themselves and others.

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