Hurstbridge Farm (the farm) is a therapeutic residential care (TRC) setting located on 13.4 hectares in the North Division.
The farm has two residential houses, a school, administrative offices, farm equipment sheds and two bungalows to assist young people preparing for independent living. A land and animal care worker is employed to manage the agricultural activities and to support young people’s involvement in those activities. The farm can accommodate 8 young people in total.
The eligible age range for entry to the program is 10 years to 13 years and 11 months for children in the North Division. These children have histories of abuse and neglect that produce complex presentations arising from the trauma and attachment disruption that are the sequelae of such experiences. The therapeutic model provides an environment that assists children to work through their trauma, learn to trust adults and ultimately, prepare for successful future life experiences.
The program at the farm consists of the TRC and an onsite school for children that are not able to be integrated into mainstream school. The objective for the onsite school is to prepare the children for a community setting school enrolment. Take Two provide therapeutic guidance support to the staffing group so that the delivery of the model is consist with therapeutic teachings.
The children for whom this program provides service are some of the most vulnerable and traumatised in the state. It is essential that staff are at all times mindful of their conduct towards these children and act within a relationship based model, adhering to the principles and ethical standards inherent in the therapeutic model and work in a team setting to assist children with their healing.
The program aims:
- to therapeutically understand and address the antecedents of the presentations that have necessitated entry to care in a carefully orchestrated, treatment orientated milieu that does not exacerbate the child’s difficulties
- to mitigate against the negative and enduring impact of the harm that has occurred by achieving change in the way the child perceives and interacts with the world
- to achieve some level of restoration of family connectedness, with the ideal goal being one of re-unification if at all possible. This would include significant work with parents by the care team to assist them to understand the trauma and strengthen their capacity to manage these children. Family Group Conferencing is also utilised where appropriate.
- to equip clients with skills for independent living to ensure a successful transition from the program, in line with the placement planning goals identified upon the client's entry to the program.