Executive Director's Message

Welcome to the Autumn 2014 edition of the Lighthouse Institute E-News.

In the last month, the Institute has been pleased with Minister Mary Wooldridge's launch of the five year plan for out of home care in Victoria. What was particularly exciting was the Victorian government's commitment to reform the out of home care system, with a therapeutic care framework to flow across the whole system. For many years, Lighthouse has been advocating for and developing practice in the area of therapeutic care. It is great to see that more children and young people will have access in the future to a more therapeutic response that supports their recovery from histories of abuse and neglect. We congratulate the Victorian government on this initiative, and look forward to contributing to the new system, through sharing the knowledge that Lighthouse has developed over 23 years of providing trauma informed therapeutic care in Australia. 

We are glad to see that other states in Australia are also moving towards therapeutic care, with the South Australian government committing to funding a partnership between Service to Youth Council, and Lighthouse Institute to provide therapeutic residential care to children in State care. In this newsletter, we will share how the implementation of the Lighthouse Therapeutic Family Model of Careâ„¢ is going in South Australia. 

We will also share a number of exciting developments for the Institute, including the Journey to Recovery: The International Conference of Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice 2013 evaluation report, and the development of the 2015 conference. We will inform you about the progression of the partnership with PositScience to bring brain training to traumatised young people in Australia, news about our research partnerships, Royal Commission Support Services training update, a call for papers for the special edition Children Australia Journal on therapeutic care, and other interesting news.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Lighthouse Institute E-news. 

Rudy Gonzalez
Executive Director

SYC Visit 

Service to Youth Council from South Australia came to visit our office in Richmond to train to become the first organisation in Australia to be licensed to use the Lighthouse Therapeutic Family Model of Careâ„¢. 
SYC, through their HYPA (Helping Young People Achieve) programs, provide support to young people and help them find their talents so they can have a positive future.
The young people, who have come from backgrounds of long term neglect and abuse, will be provided with a therapeutic home environment. They will also experience the benefits of family life and around the clock therapeutic care.
In March, the team from SYC took part in shadow shifts with our carers, visiting our homes and learning about our Therapeutic Family Model of Careâ„¢.  

Journey to Recovery Conference: 2015

Lighthouse Institute is pleased to announce that Journey to Recovery: The International Conference of Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice, will be taking place again in Melbourne in 2015.

Building on the success of the inaugural conference in 2013, we invite you to Journey to Recovery 2015 to join practitioners, policy makers, researchers, consultants, carers and survivors of trauma from around the world. These people will not only come together to share their experiences, but also to reflect on practice and research into recovery-orientated approaches from an attachment and trauma informed perspective.

We are also pleased to release our Journey to Recovery 2013: Evaluation Report

More information and details on how to register will be available in the coming months.

Research and Evaluation Updates

  • Lighthouse Institute has strengthened our research partnership with the University of Melbourne this month. Our Research Manager, Dr Pauline McLoughlin has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the Centre for Youth Mental Health. Through this role, she will be collaborating with The Centre to pursue research projects that seek to advance the mental health and wellbeing of young people who have been in out of home care.
  • La Trobe University Department of Social Work and Social Policy has recently come on board as a Lighthouse Institute research partner, working in collaboration on a number of research and evaluation projects. Over the coming months,we will begin a four-year evaluation that will explore young peoples’ and carers' experiences of the Lighthouse Model of
    â„¢, with the aim of evaluating outcomes for young people over time.
  • Pauline McLoughlin recently presented the Western Regional Victorian Legal Assistance Forum, on the challenges and issues faced by young people who couch surf, and the role for legal reform to help break the cycle of homelessness for these kids. Lighthouse Institute and the Western Region Victorian Legal Assistance Forum will be working together in the future to raise awareness about the hidden form homelessness referred to as couch surfing. 

Save the Date: May Colloquium 

Friday, 9th   May, 10:30 am – 12 pm.

Lighthouse Institute will be hosting a guest speaker, Lauren Siegmann who is the Evaluation and Reporting Coordinator of The Song Room; and a Consultant program evaluator. Lauren is coming to talk about evaluation and what it means for us in practice. Lauren is passionate about evaluation theory, the use of humour in evaluation, the 'democratisation' of theoretical language, and evaluation as artistic practice. Lauren has a lot of experience in running evaluation projects in community settings, and has worked for Clear Horizon, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Foundation for Young Australians, amongst others. She currently works for The Song Room, evaluating arts programs in schools. 

Dr Pauline McLoughlin will talk about her PhD research on couch surfing. Through her research, she focused on the stories of young people who left home in the school years, and who moved frequently from one temporary arrangement to another with local households, with nowhere else to go for housing or support. Pauline will highlight some of the key implications of couch surfing for practitioners, youth advocates and policymakers. 

For more information on the May Colloquium, please email Dr Pauline McLoughlin at research@lighthouseinstitute.org.au

Seminar Series Training Update

There are still four seminars available in the first half of the year:

Understanding Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Practice
16 April 10am-2pm

Understanding Depression and Bi-Polar Mood Disorder
30 April 10am - 2pm

Mediation: A Trauma Informed Model in Practice
11 June 10am - 2pm

Understanding the Lighthouse Therapeutic Family Model of Care
25 June 1pm - 5pm

For more information on these seminars and to register, please visit the Seminar Series section of our website

Royal Commission Support Services Update

As part of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, Lighthouse Institute are offering free training sessions across Australia throughout 2014.

These sessions will focus on complex trauma, vicarious trauma and trauma informed practice and will be available to professional staff working with survivors and those impacted by the Royal Commission process.

The following sessions will be offered:

Understanding Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Practice

A Trauma Informed Approach to Understanding Grief and Loss

Understanding and Working with Trauma-Based Behaviour

Understanding Psychosocial Development

Promoting a Sense of Belonging: Therapeutic Group Processes

Preventing Vicarious Trauma in the Workplace

For more information on these session, please visit the Royal Commission Support Services part of our website, or contact our National Training Coordinator on 03 9093 7500 or via email.

Welcome from Lighthouse CEO, Kane Bowden

Thank you for taking the time to read this, the latest E-news from our Lighthouse Institute.
The Lighthouse Institute continues to break new ground for our organisation in the fight against homelessness. The Institute team, strongly led by its Executive Director, Rudy Gonzalez, has established a robust research and training agenda and has commenced the national expansion of our Model of Care. The excellent work that they are doing is a source of great pride for all of our staff, volunteers, our Board, our major benefactors and supporters and of course our founder, Susan Barton AM.
Read on to hear more about how it is all going and thank you for your interest in our work.
Together we can end youth homelessness


Kane Bowden,

Call for Papers on Therapeutic Care: Special Issue of Children Australia Journal

Lighthouse Institute is calling for papers on best practice in therapeutic care in the out of home care sector, for an upcoming special issue of Children Australia Journal.

There is mounting evidence that children with experiences of trauma and disrupted care benefit from a consistent, therapeutic framework of care that focuses on addressing trauma, damaged attachment and fostering healthy development. Inspired by Lighthouse Institute's 'Journey to Recovery Conference' - the International Conference of Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice, which was held in Melbourne in August 2013, this special edition is being co-edited by Rudy Gonzalez and Dr Pauline McLoughlin. This issue seeks to give expression to expert practitioners, academics and leaders in the field, who can demonstrate how therapeutic care works. Drawing on examples from a range of out of home care contexts and programs, the focus of this edition of the journal will provide both Australian and international perspectives.

The deadline for manuscript submission is 30th May 2014.

The expected special issue publication date is 14th November 2014.

For enquiries or further information, please email Lighthouse Institute Research Manager, Dr Pauline McLoughlin.

MHPN Webinars for Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) is one of four organisations funded by the Australian Government to support the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. MHPN will be delivering a series of webinars throughout the year to their membership made up of mental health practitioners. 

MHPN's first webinar: Recognising and Responding to Complex Trauma, was for General Practitioners only and was held on Monday 7th April. 

The second webinar: Assessing and Recognising Complex Trauma webinar is on Tuesday 20 May from 6.45-8pm AEST.
The panel comprises Dr Johanna Lynch (GP), Ms Michelle Everett (clinical psychologist), Mr Dragan Wright (consumer advocate) and Adjunct Professor Warwick Middleton (psychiatrist). Dr Mary Emeleus (GP and psychotherapist) will facilitate the discussion of a case study of a person who may have experienced or been exposed to complex trauma.
There's no need to travel to benefit from this free, accredited PD opportunity. Simply register and log in on the night to participate from home, or anywhere you have a computer or tablet with a high speed internet connection.
Registrations open soon. Visit www.mhpn.org.au to learn more.

More information on details and how to register will be available both on the Institute's website and MHPN's website

Remediation of Cognition in Kids to Overcome Neglect

Lighthouse Institute and Posit Science have recently formed a partnership to bring the benefits of brain training to vulnerable young people around the world. 

Posit Science, in partnership with Lighthouse Institute, has developed a brain training program specific for young people whose brain development has been impaired by their experience of childhood trauma. The Rock On (Remediation of Cognition in Kids to Overcome Neglect) program, which supports development for young people in the areas of auditory and visual cognition, social cognition, and self regulation, will be made available to a group of young people in Australia as a trial. Lighthouse Institute and Posit Science will begin this pilot study in 2014, to measure the therapeutic outcomes for young people who participate in this program. For more information about this research pilot, please email Lighthouse Institute's Research Manager.

Free Brain Training

As part of our partnership with Posit Science, we have been given a number of BrainHQ subscriptions to share with the Lighthouse community. 

BrainHQ is type of brain fitness training, used to exercise and improve your attention, memory and more. Developed by a team of top neuroscientists, BrainHQ's exercises are designed to make lasting improvements to your brain function. 

To acknowledge your support of the work of Lighthouse Institute, we are offering you a full subscription to BrainHQ's online brain training.

If you would like a subscription code, please email us immediately, as we only have a limited number to give away.

To find out more about Posit Science and BrainHQ, please visit 
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