Transformational Practice

Transformational Practice


Transformational Practice is one of the key new strategies of the Australian Childhood Foundation.

For over a decade now, we have been working in partnership with a range of Government and Non-Government Agencies to support them to shape and strengthen their models of practice with children, young people, families and their communities. Our approach to transforming practice uses the strengths of locally developed and already contextualised evidence-based and evidence-informed approaches to innovation in service evaluation and design.

It draws on the evolving national and international research about

  • neurobiology, trauma and relational models of therapeutic intervention,
  • the impact of adverse childhood experiences,
  • organisational betrayal and organisational courage,
  • outcomes oriented models of practice across a range of sectors including out of home care, education, youth justice, education and mental health.

We recognise that there are many forms of knowledge which need to be considered when organisations and systems embark on periods of reform to the ways they offer support and services to children, young people and the networks of adults who are important to them. Such knowledge includes the wisdom drawn from culture, the expertise of practitioners, the voices of children and young people and the views of parents, carers and family members.


Our work draws on the extensive number of partnerships that the Australian Childhood Foundation has with


  • research organisations (Southern Cross University, QUT, University of North Carolina),
  • Government Departments (NT, NSW, TAS, Sport Australia),
  • learning institutions from around the world (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Network),
  • education departments (Catholic Education WA, Catholic Education SA, Department of Education Tasmania, Department of Education SA),
  • innovators (Thrive UK, Integrated Learning Systems), and
  • service delivery organisations including MercyCare, NPY Women’s Council, Oz Child, Barnados, Anglicare Victoria, Uniting (Vic).


We serve to translate knowledge into practice using an understanding of implementation science that acknowledges the complexity of organisational change and systems reform. It offers a range of unique services to individual practitioners and organisations across sectors related to vulnerable children and young people, their families and their communities including

  • online Learning Communities for professionals working in different service areas,
  • micro-learning and ongoing training opportunities,
  • access to innovative knowledge bank platforms that curate and translate up to date research and best practice wisdom,
  • implementation support to organisations wanting to develop their own practice frameworks which integrate with their values and the local context of their service delivery,
  • resources to build the capability of staff to deliver innovation,
  • evaluation and impact methodologies which are fit for purpose.
Our most recent initiative

The Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care

Our most recent initiative is the establishment of Australia’s first ever resource Centre dedicated to therapeutic care. The Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care has been funded by FACS NSW and is run by the Australian Childhood Foundation in partnership with Southern Cross University. Its function is to support the evolution of the newly reformed Intensive Therapeutic Care system being rolled out in NSW. The Centre integrates up to date research evidence with cultural knowledge, practice wisdom and the voices of young people in care to produce reports, practice resources and training to support the provision of high quality, evidence-informed therapeutic care. The Centre works in collaboration with the Intensive Therapeutic Care Agencies, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), Education, Youth Justice, Peak Bodies and other important stakeholders throughout NSW.

Find out more

Other current examples of our Transformational Practice work includes supporting the development and implementation of

  • a therapeutic model of residential care for Territory Families (NT Government),
  • our Safeguarding Children Best Practice Framework with Sports Australia, Scotch College, Salvation Army, Jewish Care, and MercyCare, amongst others,
  • a trauma-informed and healing focussed practice framework with Anglicare Southern Queensland,
  • a trauma-informed school practice approach with Department for Education (SA), Catholic Education Western Australia, Catholic Education South Australia amongst others,
  • a set of trauma-informed schooling national standards with Queensland University of Technology,
  • a trauma-informed culturally strong therapeutic education framework for the Barwon Learning Centre (Morree NSW) in partnership with Ngaoara,
  • a family violence prevention framework for remote community with NPY Women’s Council in Alice Springs,
  • a trauma-informed practice framework for Intensive Family Support Services for CatholicCare NT in Santa Teresa; and,
  • a trauma-informed practice framework for provision of a therapeutic environment for it youth homelessness services for MercyCare (WA).


Keep in touch!

If you would like to find out more about the work of the Foundation in supporting organisations with transformational practice projects, then complete the following question form.



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