In Australia one of the leading voices for Therapeutic Residential Care (TRC) is the National Therapeutic Residential Care Alliance (NTRCA) which was established in 2012 when a group of like-minded professionals came together to advocate for services that improve the lives of Australian children and young people in out-of-home care. NTRCA aims to promote TRC as a valued and respected form of care provision and has been able to bring together practitioners and organisations engaged in therapeutic residential care to maximise the pool of resources while developing a clear framework for service delivery. The vision for the future is to advance TRC within the social sector through research and continued resource dissemination.
Infinity Community Solutions is extremely lucky to have one of the NTRCA board members Shelley Wall, as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Shelley leads the way at Infinity Community Solutions to educate on the topic of TRC. Shelley is often wearing many hats including being a leading proponent and important contributor to the TRC Alliance since its inception in 2012. This often means she attends meetings, seminars and conferences on the subject.
The Association of Children’s Residential Centers (ACRC) held its annual conference in New Orleans in April earlier this year and Shelley Wall, Infinity Community Solutions CEO attended as representative of the NTRCA.
Having been established since 1956, ACRC are a strong presence in the social sector in the United States and in many other countries worldwide. ACRC has created a membership base so as to give a powerful voice to residential intervention both in the United States and internationally. Through relationships, leadership, innovation and advocacy for best practice ACRC provide an effective resource for its members in caring for young people and children in care.
The NTRCA supports the education around the benefits of residential care and the building of strong relationships with organisations in Australia and overseas however has only been in operation for 7 years compared to ACRC 60 years. By collaborating with long established organisations like ACRC, NTRCA hopes to continue to continue to grow its own membership and have as strong input into policy and practice in Australia just as its international partners already do in their own countries.
Shelley’s involvement in the New Orleans conference has given Infinity Community Solutions an opportunity to be at the forefront of collaborating with International colleagues in therapeutic residential care. Keynote speakers, presenters and conference attendees from all around the world created motivational experiences as they shared stories on best practices around residential care.
Being able to build on skills and latest knowledge across a broad range of topics has enabled Shelley to return with fresh information that she can apply when working in her role at Infinity Community Solutions. “My main purpose for attending was to secure partnership for the TRC Alliance but the opportunity to bring back the latest research on what is working well in residential care internationally and being able to apply it in my role as CEO at Infinity Community Solutions is invaluable” says Shelley of her conference experience.
The conference highlighted a broad range of topic including the important role that residential care has for meeting the needs of children and young people with multiple and complex needs. “While attending the conference in New Orleans was a wonderful opportunity for building relationships and collaborating with our international colleagues, we were able to share practices that have been working well in other countries as well as our insights into what is working in an Australian context” Shelley explains. Sharing of information is an opportunity to take the models used internationally and create and add to the theoretical and practical models for Australian residential care.
Infinity Community Solutions is committed to building strong relationships across all levels of the community services sector, Government and community. As active members in national forums such as the National TRC Alliance ensures that Infinity Community Solutions maintains at the forefront dynamic collaborations and contributing to leading the way in innovation and research.