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Victoria’s residential care workers recognised 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, four 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 three awards announced today.

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 Families, Fairness and Housing; and a representative from the Commission for Children and Young People and were announced on 3 September by Minister for Child Protection, Hon. Luke Donnellan. 

The winners recognised are: 

Residential Worker Award: Jacinta Lucas, Team Leader with Anglicare Victoria  

Jacinta Lucas is the inspirational Team Leader of Alkira, Anglicare Victoria’s Residential Care House in the Goulburn area. She manages a team of 9 staff, a Case Manager and various casual staff to support the 4 young people who reside in the home.   

Jacinta has worked with her staff to create a safe, warm, nurturing environment that welcomes all young people. Jacinta makes sure that each young person in the home knows that they are accepted and loved, and are part of a family. This care extends even after the young people leave the home. Many still contact her and she is still a feature of their lives, a key person who has stuck by them. 

Residential Team Award: Deakin team, MASP, Mallee District 

The Deakin team at MASP in the Mallee supports four young men, aged 14-16, who display a wide range of challenging behaviours. These young people have been chronically disengaged from education, constantly subject to Youth Justice Orders including custodial sentences, and disengaged from community and health and other services for most of their lives.   

Through care, consistency and dedication, the Deakin team has been able to make a significant difference in the lives of these young people.   

Leadership Award: Skye Himmerman, House Supervisor with MacKillop Family Services 

Skye Himmerman is a House Supervisor with MacKillop Family Services. In her role, Skye makes sure the home environment is safe and nurturing, and that young people have a sense of pride in the home. She does this by leading her team to create a warm, secure environment built around routine.   

Under her guidance, the young people in the home have re-engaged in school, re-connected with family, and had positive interactions with the broader community.  

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 has shown us what is possible and how you have continued to lead, care and inspire young people, throughout another very unique and challenging year,” Ms Tsorbaris said. 


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