Current Size: 100%


Overview/purpose of Resi ROCKS

Overview/purpose of Resi ROCKS

The Residential Care Learning and Development Strategy (RCLDS) was developed in 2001 in recognition of the link between staff competency and client outcomes. The RCLDS Reference Group consists of Community Service Organisations (CSO’s) representatives, Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre).  In June 2005, management of RCLDS was transferred to the Centre with oversight of the RCLDS project and three year training plan occurring through the RCLDS Reference Group.

The aim of the RCLDS is the development of a competent and appropriately trained residential care workforce that is supported to provide a high standard of care to children and young people in out of home care.

The goals of RCLDS include:

·  the development and maintenance of a skilled and stable workforce;

· provision of high quality training, supervision and support to workers;

· development of appropriate pre-service qualifications relevant to the field

· development of a culture of ongoing learning in the workplace


The RCLDS Residential Care Worker forum was first held in 2006 to bring residential care workers across the state together as a professional group to learn and share ideas and good practice. This event has been highly regarded which is demonstrated in the high participant numbers of around 350 since its inception. The highly successful “Resi Rocks” (Recognising Our Carers Knowledge and Skills) badging was developed in 2007 and is now the ongoing title of the forum. In 2015 we had a high interest and oversubscribed again, with over 380 staff registered to attend.


Resi Rocks is the only residential worker forum that brings together residential workers across the state. Its aims to:

  • Provide an opportunity for residential workers to get together to learn, reflect, look back and look forward.
  • Acknowledge the importance of residential care work and residential care workers.
  • Acknowledge the practice excellence of residential care workers and their managers.
  • Promote a sense of a professional workforce and the important role of residential workers as part of the professional care team
  • Celebrate and have fun.


Client Overview

The young people in residential care are clients of Child Protection and present with complex and multiple trauma based behaviours and emotional difficulties which may include extremely challenging behaviours such as:

•          Substance abuse

•          Suicidal tendencies

•          Aggression and dysregulation

•          Chronic absconding

•          Sexualized behaviours and offending behaviours

•          Emerging or diagnosed psychiatric or psychological disorders

•          Offending

•          At risk of Sexual  exploitation

•          Estranged or non-existent family, significant other, peer or community relationships

•          Disengaged from education/vocation

These young people often require long term care and substantial support.


Workforce Overview

There are 21 Community Service Organisations funded by DHS Out of Home Care delivering residential care in Victoria.  There are approximately 1665 residential workers employed in these residential units on a rostered basis.

The Residential Care Workforce Census (2012) found that 26% of staff are full time, 19% part time and 55% casual. Just under half of all full time and part time staff hold industry based qualifications (full time 49% and part-time 45%).  The gender profile of the workforce is 68% Female compared to 32% Male.

There are a number of workforce issues including:

- Significant risk and occupational and health and safety issues

- Recruitment & retention of experienced & committed workforce

- Need for relevant training that assists industry in preparing workers for this intensive work


Overview of audience

Over 330 residential care workers, supervisors, senior managers and some CEOs, Centre for Excellence staff, DHS, Commission of Children and Young People and Training facilitators from across Victoria will be attending. The majority will be from the metropolitan area although there will also be rural services represented. Traditionally, residential care workers have tended to be from diverse employment and educational backgrounds.



Resi Rocks took place on 26th May 2015 at MCG, this year we focused on Recognising our Carers Skills and Knowledge which was the original inception of Resi ROCKS.

The Minister presented Scholarships to 6 recipients in the morning, followed by a new joint initiative ‘HEALTHY AND ASPIRING – Together we can improve health and education outcomes for young people in residential care’ between Rick Simms –(DET), Angelique Phillips –(DHHS) and Kim (RCLDS) to address the gaps in health and educational outcomes for young people in OoHC.

Opera singer Stephen Smith not only told his story of moving from care to adulthood, he sang the house down.

The midday session between three rooms allowed 9 organisations to present their initiatives to the sector, overall this was well received. The presentations consisted of:

  • Empowering Young People- Glastonbury           
  • 'Cara's Education & Alternative Therapy Programs' - Cara
  • Promoting Good Health in Residential Care- WUC
  • ‘Normal’ Child Development Vs Behavioural  Indicators due to Trauma - St Lukes, Anglicare         
  • The Chestnuts “ How they saved Morwell”- Berry Street
  • Looking after Children; Practical and Sustainable Evidence - Junction
  • Being, Building and Belonging, VACCA 
  • Creating a better life for children and young people in care- CREATE
  •  TEACHaR- Anglicare

Market stalls were an added component to this years agenda to encourage networking and sharing of ideas and resources. The afternoon consisted of an impromptu Resi’s Got Talent show which was great for a laugh. RCLDS was able to present and consult with the direct care workers which will assist in the formation of the 2015-2016 plan.

2015 Award winners:

Deb and Katy Haire presented the Resi Awards.

Resi Worker Winner:    Ellen Lyne from MacKillop Family Services

Resi Leader Winner:     Alistair Houston from Wimmera Uniting Care.

Resi Team Winner:       Jackson Parade Team from MacKillop Family Services North

Resi Team: Highly Commended     St James Rd Team from Berry Street

                                           Jesson Crescent Residential Home from Wesley.


2014: “Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds – Mindful approaches to good practice” it is about how we can make a difference by taking the time to care for ourselves as well as the young people we are working with.

  • Dr Craig Hassad, about Mindfulness and wellbeing for children and young people.
  • Glenys Bristow, sharing the Smiling Mind App.
  • Dr Helen Skouteris, Rachel Cox, Deakin University and HEAL Coordinators giving us some healthy choices to add to our toolbox of skills.
  • Robyn Miller, and Monique Blom, talking about Mindfulness in residential care: Building a hopeful future.
  • MC Dave O’Neil- who will energise us.
  • Finishing with the announcement of the Residential Care Worker Awards.

2013: “The Art and Science of Caregiving: Ancient wisdom meets neuroscience!” The forum examined  how the basics of ‘day to day’ care combine with our more contemporary knowledge of neuroscience, consolidating our learning’s and embracing the work we do.  The key message was caring ‘with’ kids, not just ‘for’ kids.  Resi Rocks looked at ancient care giving and modern science, and explored how the development and quality of our care giving relationship can facilitate positive connections for the young person to their family and community and in particular to Anglin’s 11 key dynamics of positive change. In celebrating our successes, developments in the out of home care field were discussed at both at an international level and a state level by James Anglin and Robyn Miller.  The positive results of the Victorian therapeutic residential care pilots were discussed and also the current and emerging issues of sexual exploitation for this vulnerable group of young people in residential care and how we can respond to this.  MC was Dave O’Neill.

2012: Overcoming Adversity – Residential care workers can make a difference! Keynote speaker was Ahn Do who provide a funny but very inspirational story that aspirational in terms of the message that people can rise above adversity, and educative by providing tools to get results. The other keynote was Brian Jeffries spoke about how the brain responds and recovers from trauma and on overcoming adversity from a mental health perspective. MC was Peter Mulholland, Westcare.

2011: Thank God You’re Here! How do positive relationships improve outcomes for young people? Keynote speaker was Richard Rose, Director of the Mary Walsh Institute, UK and author of ‘The Child’s Own Story – Life Story Work with Traumatised Children’.  His Keynote Address was on “Life Story Work – improving outcomes for traumatised children”.  MC was Rachel Berger.


2010: Caring for Self… Caring for Kids.

In order to provide the best quality of care to children and young people we need to recognize the importance of caring for staff and teams. This year’s Resi Rocks forum explored the ways in which organisations, teams and staff can promote good practice in self care and caring for each other. The issue of caring for staff was explored at the 3 levels – the organisation, the team and the individual. This is in recognition of the importance of organisational congruence at all levels to ensure consistency of messages and approach. The day explored what the organisation can and often already does to care for staff, what can occur at a team level and importantly the individual staff member’s role and personal responsibility to care for themselves. The day included a series of workshops such as a Lets Laugh session; concurrent Self Care workshops on Meditation, Health and Fitness, Reflexology             Theraparies and Healthy cooking and a motivational speaker.  MC was Rod Quantock.

2009: Therapeutic Care: Growth and Change. Keynote speaker was Annette Jackson. MC was Tracy Bartram. Minister Neville presented the Resi Worker Awards.

Messages for presenters/MC:



  • To always reflect and strive for improvement
  • Recognition for the difficult but very important and rewarding work being done by this sector with traumatised children and young people with complex issues
  • Recognition of the high quality work being done and commitment to these children and young people and their families


Relationships are the enabler to change:     

  • Positive and purposeful relationships between all staff and young people are the key to healing and a foundation to change


Tone of the day:

  • Presentations to be of a high standard, stimulating, informative and most importantly positive
  • Where possible they are to be interactive




The Residential Care Worker awards were first held in 2007. The aim of these awards as stated in the nomination form is “to recognise, celebrate and encourage work of the highest standard in the provision of residential care provided in Victoria that contributes to positive outcomes for children and young people living in residential care”


Awards are offered in three categories:

Residential Worker Award is for: A person who has achieved significant, positive outcomes for a child or young person living in residential care and demonstrated a commitment to learning and development.

Residential Care Leadership Award. A  person who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and innovation in leadership which has had a significant impact on residential care systems and outcomes for children and young people

Residential Care Team Award.  This Award is for a team within a residential unit or house who have worked collaboratively in order to achieve significant, positive outcomes for a child or young person living in residential care

Awards Presenters have included Minister Neville in 2009 and last year was co-presented by Deb Tsorbaris with James Anglin and Robyn Miller handing out the Awards. In the other years (2007, 2008, 2010-12) Bernie Geary has presented the Awards alone or in conjunction with others including Argiri Alisandratos in 2012. 



© 2011 Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare  Contact Us  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer  |  Sitemap  |  Site designed and hosted by Infoxchange Australia