Therapeutic Framework

Guardian Youth Care is an organisation with strong ties to its community, making use of its local knowledge and expertise in its service delivery.

Guardian Youth Care work with and care for children and young people that have been affected by trauma, abuse and neglect. The children and young people have more often experienced multiple placements and require a service that will provide a clear set of practices that really make a difference.

This Practice Framework seeks to set out Guardian Youth Care’s principles of working with its clients, identify the evidence bases that support the practice the organisation undertakes, and list the techniques that are utilised in supporting the organisation’s clients.

What is a ‘Practice Framework’?

A practice framework firstly outlines the practice undertakings that underlie the approach to working with the children and young people in Guardian Youth Care’s programs. Through these undertakings, a moral authority is subsequently established, as is clear guidance and expected practice.

Practice – the principles, commitments, relationships, approaches and techniques used at the system and case worker / youth worker level to enable families (including children, young people, and adults) to achieve the goals of safety, stability, well-being and better futures.

Framework – a structure to hold together or support something; an underlying set of ideas, principles, agreements and indeed rules that provides the basis and outline for something (in this case ‘practice’) intended to be continuously developed and improved over time.

What does the Guardian Practice Framework Provide?

The Practice Framework provides the program with:

  • A basis of understanding for explaining the cognitions, behaviours and challenges exhibited by the children and young people residing and receiving support from Guardian Youth Care;
  • A focus for support on understanding the children and young people, their developmental experience, and behaviour to ensure our practice addresses needs rather than only managing and containing behaviour;
  • A common structure resulting in cohesive teamwork and a unified approach to understanding the needs of children and young people residing and receiving support from Guardian Youth Care;
  • A guide for staff to become and remain aware of a range of interventions and strategies that can be developed and implemented to support the children and young people to remain ‘client-focused’;
  • A foundation for the service (as a whole) to operate and practice in accord with identified expectations and congruence;
  • A guide for decision-making resulting in planned consistent and coherent actions that reflect the service’s defined scope, underpinning organisational (Guardian Youth Care) values, intent and vision

Practice Ideals – Foundations For Practice

Guardian Youth Care is developing a ‘Framework for Practice’ that is founded upon the organisation’s values and a strong evidence base.
This evidence includes authentic person-centredness and contemporary theoretical models (neurodevelopmental/attachment, strengths-based theories, person-centred active support and positive behaviour support).

The framework is heavily influenced by these key evidence-based approaches that also emphasise the importance of creating cultures and contexts to enable the enhancement of key relational strengths, resilience and self-identity.

In particular the Practice Framework acknowledges the importance of practice ‘congruence’ across all levels of the organisation. Congruence between values, principles and action. A set of foundations derived from the contemporary approaches and evidence are used to shape and guide our thinking and plans for practice.

Guardian Youth Care is developing a ‘Framework for Practice’ that is founded upon the organisations’ values and a strong evidence base. The framework is heavily influenced by these key evidence-based approaches that also emphasise the importance of creating cultures and contexts to enable the enhancement of key strengths, resilience and self-identity. In particular the Practice Framework acknowledges the importance of practice ‘congruence’ across all levels of the service.

A set of 5 foundations derived from the contemporary approaches and evidence are used to shape and guide our thinking and plans for practice.

These foundations are directly derived from contemporary moral human service, research and evidence-based approaches, while also reflecting the specific and unique characteristics that also distinctively shape and perhaps help define nature, philosophy and spirit of Guardian Youth Care.

These 5 foundations are:

  • Organisational Culture and Congruence between Values and Action
  • Safety and Well-being
  • Authentic Person Centeredness
  • Contemporary evidence-based clinically-informed approaches
  • Valuing People, Positive relational engagement and supported empowerment

Building Key Developmental Strengths

This refers to placing specific focus on key interpersonal capabilities (as of [at least] equal importance to core independent living skills) that enable and empower an individual to live and engage with others in mutually beneficial ways

  • Self-regulation (identification Modulation and Expression)
  • Affiliation (Interpersonal Connections)
  • Attunement
  • Tolerance
  • Respect
  • Autonomy (Empowerment and Independence)

Empowerment and Relational Reciprocity

Strength-based (resilience building) approaches define issues experienced by people in terms of their strengths and developmental needs. Various strength-based interventions can be used as the basis of support and growth. A simple framework to shape care contexts and communication can be used to underpin practice in this regard:

  • Affiliation: How can I assist in the development of attachments / networks for the child or young person in their community / family etc?
  • Competence / Capability: How can I support the child or young person to develop the skills necessary to achieve / master the goal?
  • Empowerment / Independence: Do the goals we are setting facilitate the development / maximising of the child or young person’s empowerment and interdependence leading in time to independence?
  • Attunement and Generosity of Spirit: Are the goals assisting the child or young person to develop insight into the feelings of others, or engaged them in a productive role in their family, community etc?

Core Theories, Frameworks & Knowledge Base:

Theory / Framework:
1 Child Protection
2 Attachment
3 Neurological Impact of Trauma
4 Core Strengths Theory
5 Positive Behaviour Support
6 Child Development
7 Lifespan Development
8 Aboriginal Wellbeing
9 Learning Theories
10 Attachment, Regulation, Competency Framework (ARC)
11 Cultural Competency
12 Risk Management and Offending Behaviour
13 Disability
14 Trauma Informed Practice
15 Motivational Interviewing
16 Mental Health
17 Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Please note that the overview provided is under constant review and development.