Building an Aboriginal cultural model of therapeutic residential care: The experience of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Academic Article uri icon


  • The provision of therapeutic residential care offers opportunities for traumatised children and young people to build relationships through establishing a safe and nurturing environment that can facilitate healthy recovery. For the Aboriginal child and young person demonstrating symptoms of trauma, cultural connections have been severed, relationships broken and there can be an overwhelming sense of abandonment. Aboriginal children's experiences of trauma go beyond the individualistic or familial and incorporate pervasive intergenerational trauma. This means that healing for Aboriginal children requires a therapeutic response embedded within an Aboriginal cultural framework. This paper presents the approach undertaken by an Aboriginal community organisation in developing a therapeutic residential care programme for Aboriginal children in their care. The model developed has implications for all therapeutic care programmes.

publication date

  • 2014