Department of Communities

Specialist support and counselling services to children, families and carers

Since commencing operation in August 2008, Complex Care has established a reputation in South East Queensland for providing flexible, responsive in-home specialist support and counselling services to children, families and carers on child protection orders.

Child Safety Services are our largest contractor and account for approximately 90% of our client work. Complex Care currently receives referrals from 22 Child Safety Service Centres in South East QLD and also receives interstate referrals for children transitioning into South East Queensland.

In addition to supporting children placed with families and carers, Complex Care also provides therapeutic support and counselling services to young people in residential care. This support often includes the provision of training and consultancy to residential care staff to support them to understand a young person’s behaviour in the context of previous trauma and attachment, and provide them with evidence based therapeutic responses.
Below is a list of the services that Complex Care currently provides to children on departmental orders (and the carers who support them):

Counselling services for Children and Young People

  • Structured sessions set in environments that are comfortable, fun and conducive to the development of quality therapeutic relationships
  • Sessions may incorporate solution-focused and narrative counselling, expressive modalities and psycho-education around the impact of trauma on functioning
  • Sessions incorporate activites that enhance a young person’s self-esteem, social functioning, capacity to self-regulate and promotes the development of positive support networks
  • Provide holistic assessments of young people’s therapeutic care and placement needs
  • Therapeutic support is tailored towards increasing placement stability

Carer and Family Support Services

  • Intensive in-home support that promotes placement stability
  • Provide training, practical support and counselling to carers and families
  • Assist carers/parents to reframe children’s behaviours in the context of complex trauma, attachment, disabilities and grief/loss
  • Provide carers/parents with therapeutic behaviour support strategies that facilitate positive developmental attachment and enhance a child’s capacity to self-regulate
  • Provide carers/parents with training in Collaborative Problem Solving, to reduce explosive episodes and teach children lagging cognitive skills
  • Provide carers/parents with evidence-based strategies for working with specific complex behaviours
  • Assist carers/parents/Department with the development of comprehensive risk management plans
  • Provide Parental Capacity and Psychological Assessments

Transition Support

  • Develop and negotiate individually tailored specialist foster care support packages for young people with complex emotional and behavioural needs
  • Support the transition of young people from Residential Care into Family Based Placements (including reunification)
  • Support the transition of young people into Independent living (transition from care)
  • Support the transition of young people from Youth Detention back into the community

Youth-work Support

Our team of highly qualified and experienced Youth Workers are provided with the same Trauma and Attachment training and framework adopted by our consultants, and receive ongoing case-guidance and clinical supervision. If required, Youth Workers can work closely with our consultants to enhance existing services, or work independently to meet the needs of children/young people who may not require the same level of intensive support. Details about combination consultancy/youth-work support packages are provided below.

Support Packages

In October 2012 Complex Care commenced providing combined youth-work and consultant therapist packages, specifically to support the transition of high risk young people from residential care packages back into family based placements. Through these
cost-effective combination packages engaging the support of both consultant therapists and youth-workers, we can ensure that families/placements are still provided with intensive in home counselling and training in therapeutic care, whilst at the same time provided with increased levels of in-home support from our highly qualified and professional youth-workers operating under the guidance and coordination of the assigned consultant therapist. These packages aim to bridge the gap in the current continuum of services and are specifically
tailored to the needs of children/young people who are:

  • Transitioning from residential care (including TP packages) back into a family based placement
  • At risk of entering out of home care
  • Requiring periodic in school-support to maintain the placement (two of our youth-workers are qualified teachers with a background in working with special needs young people).

These packages have typically involved the following support:

  • Counselling provided to assist the young person through the transition, improve family relationships/support healthy attachment, and to proactively respond to emerging issues
  • Intensive youth-work support provided to the young person/s to improve social engagement, provide family with day respite and in-school support (provided by youth-workers with teaching qualifications).
  • Case-coordination provided by Complex Care therapist in consultation with Department of Child Safety, Evolve and other stakeholders, ensuring a consistent and shared approach to supporting the family from all parties involved.

Case Clinics

  • Support stakeholder groups/teams to review young person’s history, reflect on their underlying needs and reframe their behaviour in the context of complex trauma, disrupted/disorganised attachment, disability and grief/loss
  • Provide evidence-based strategies to address specific complex needs
  • Facilitate development of action plan in response to identified needs and provide comprehensive write-up of issues/themes explored and agreed actions/strategies, incorporating both risk-management and holistic care planning
  • Options to provide ongoing case-mentoring and group supervision