Victoria’s residential care workers celebrated by state’s peak body

  • Victoria’s peak body for child and family services has recognised the residential care workforce’s contribution to positive outcomes for children, young people and families.
  • As part of the Centre’s annual residential care awards, three workers and one team have been presented with awards for their work in residential care homes in Victoria.

Outstanding achievement, innovation, teamwork and leadership in Victoria’s residential care workforce have been recognised by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre), with four awards announced yesterday.

The Centre’s annual Residential Care Awards celebrate the efforts of Victorian workers and teams who care for children and young people living in residential care. Residential care is a type of out-of-home care placement for children and young people who can’t live safely at home and require therapeutic care and support.

The award winners were selected by a panel consisting of Centre staff; Victoria’s Residential Care Learning and Development Strategy Committee; a representative from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services; and a representative from the Commission for Children and Young People.

The winners recognised are:

  • Residential Worker Award: 
Eddie Jackson, Anglicare Victoria (St Lukes in Bendigo) and Jade Bassetto, Anglicare Victoria (Box Hill)

Eddie is a residential youth worker and was acting house manager during the coronavirus pandemic. He is recognised for being a mentor and role model, known for being welcoming and supportive to both children and fellow staff. Eddie helped the children in his care practice physical distancing and handwashing to stay safe during the pandemic, and has driven partnerships with many local services.

Jade is a therapeutic house coordinator. She is recognised for creating a home environment that is safe and supportive, encouraging inclusion among all young people and staff. Jade encourages the young people in her care to engage in activities, as well as stay connected to the home and staff when visiting family. She always encourages learning and development in her staff and recently enrolled the team in mental health training.

  • Residential Team Award
: San Mateo team, Mallee Accommodation and Support Program (MASP)

The San Mateo team works in one of two MASP homes in the Mallee. The close-knit team is known for always looking out for each other and pushing one another to implement best practice. The team has strong connections with local services and all members strive to develop their skills and knowledge. They actively seek to reengage young people with their families.

  • Leadership Award: Mark Harrison, Allambi Care

Mark is the residential programs manager at Allambi Care NSW, working in Victoria this year to lead the local implementation of its residential care model. As a result of Mark’s leadership, Allambi Care has seen an increase in program engagement, school attendance and family connections among young people in care. He has trained 98 staff, resulting in improved client connectiveness and incident management.

The winners were selected from a pool of nominations from community-based services across the state.

Centre CEO Deb Tsorbaris applauded the winners for their dedication and enthusiasm in a range of roles and settings: “These awards are always a highlight of the year for the child and family services sector.

“I commend all the winners and nominees on their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care, and to their ongoing development as professionals.

“The residential care workforce often works in challenging circumstances, and they have gone above and beyond this year,” Ms Tsorbaris said.

Media contact 

Christie Long, 0403 053 584 or 

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