Creating hope through innovation
At Parkerville Children and Youth Care everything we do is guided by our values to be Bold and Courageous, Curious and Humble, Caring and Respectful, Hopeful, and Truthful and Accountable, in hope that one day we can make Western Australia the safest place in the world to bring up children.
We are dedicated to an ongoing journey of self-awareness, learning and improvement in everything we do because the children and young people with whom we work deserve nothing less.
Through embedding our values throughout Parkerville Children and Youth Care, we have continued to develop programs and services that are innovative and ultimately give children and young people greater opportunities to dream and to thrive.
In November 2019, Parkerville embarked on a co-design process in partnership with Innovation Unit and more than 200 service users including young people, families, carers, community group representatives, representatives from Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, and survivors of the Stolen Generation.
This was an inspiring journey that filled everyone involved with hope for an out of home care model that listens to children and young people in care, nurtures the individual needs of each child, and maintains family connection where it is safe to do so to foster feelings of belonging. As a result, Our Way Home was developed.
The development of Our Way Home was driven by a desire to transform the experience of out of home care for children, young people and their families.
The Our Way Home model takes a radically personalised approach to shared care based on the understanding that every child and young person has different needs, dreams and ambitions that must guide how care is provided to ensure they are safe, nurtured and feel a sense of belonging.
There are four principles at the heart of Our Way Home:
- Radically personalised: The experience for each child is driven by their personal needs and preferences with a view to the time they are no longer in care. We are flexible enough to change ourselves to deliver choice and control.
- Connected by default: We cannot support children if we do not also support families and communities — Out of Home Care is shared care, and Parkerville plays an active role in facilitating safe family restoration.
- Embedded culture: Respect for and connection to Aboriginal Culture is central to our work and is given equal weighting to clinical practice.
- Heart first, then head and hands: Radically personalised shared care cannot be achieved without a strong, skilled workforce with aligned values, and responsive systems to support them.
These principles are the driving force behind achieving great outcomes for children and young people in care.
After months of designing, planning, piloting and one very early morning, Parkerville Children and Youth Care’s Out of Home Care team recently joined professionals from around the world for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Conference streamed from Quebec City, Canada.
Principal Practice Lead, Johnny Rylatt and Learning Lead, Sarah Lewis, with Jethro Sercombe from Innovation Unit, shared details of Parkerville Children and Youth Care’s innovative new out of home care model, Our Way Home.
While the model continues in the pilot phase of development, it is already showing promising outcomes for the children and families involved. To have the opportunity to share Our Way Home and our learnings with service providers across the world is an experience we will remember to continue to inspire and innovate.