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The Program Development and Training areas are integral parts of the ongoing developmen and operation of Westcare's services. This includes maintaining, promoting and analysing the positive and shared organisational-learning and wellbeing culture.


Our work includes:

  • Nationally Accredited Training, including design and delivery of blended and E-Learning projects
  • Induction programs
  • Non-accredited programs
  • Tenders and funding submission design and development
  • Development of quality systems, initiatives and projects and coordination of the Quality Action Group at Westcare
  • Agency accreditation against CSO, QIC and HASS standards
  • Hugh Williamson Scholarships
  • Strategic planning
  • Development, consultation and review of policies and procedures
  • Westcare awards and functions
  • Values and ethics
  • Service design and development
  • Archiving, file systems and management
  • Partnerships
  • Student Unit
  • Wellbeing (includes annual health checks)
  • Professional development
  • Debriefing and defusing
  • Research
  • Training/conference room hire
  • Social media, web-design and communications
  • General support across the organisation
  • Writing training materials in line with RTO and registration requirements
  • Participation on a broad range of training, research, service development and practice groups and committees.

As evidenced by the above diverse range of responsibilities, the 4.8 positions in this program area require extensive theory and practice knowledge, policy, tender-writing, strategic planning, administrative, training, quality assurance/accreditation and service planning and review skills.

Once again, the heart of Westcare’s training and education activities, the Hugh Williamson Education Centre, continues to operate with the generous support of the Hugh Williamson Foundation. Scholarships were offered to nine workers and eight young people in 2011, with the Foundation pledging ongoing financial support for a young man in Home Based Care to complete his university degree.

Westcare Education and Training is a training site of the nationally-accredited Salvation Army Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Westcare has continued to deliver the quality-tailored Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention: Residential Home Based Care, and Diploma of Welfare qualifications to workers in Victoria and Tasmania:

  • Certificate IV -  Residential & Home Based Care (12)
  • Certificate IV Youth Work Tasmania (16)
  • Diploma Community Welfare (8)
  • Supervision – E-Learning (13)

241 Westcare staff attended industry required training such as Fire Safety, First Aid Level 2, Cultural Understanding, Bullying and Harassment, Equal Opportunity and Occupational Health & Safety.

A continuing successful partnership with Berry Street Take Two, through the Victorian Statewide Residential Care Learning and Development strategy provided four levels of with-care training to 290 residential workers across Victoria. We have now been delivering this trauma and attachment-informed training program for three years with further contracts for the coming year.

Since 2009, Westcare has successfully undertaken five external reviews against the CSO, QIC and HASS standards, as well as undertaking rigorous internal reviews each year. Westcare is currently preparing for the implementation of the One DHS Standards and working hard to implement the quality work-plan developed with reviewers. Westcare continue to participate in The Salvation Army Divisional Quality Review Group (DQRG) and work with colleagues across sectors to develop quality systems.

Research is a growing area of participation for Westcare. Acknowledging our role as significant stakeholders within the out-of-home care sector and our expansive expertise which is evident in our staffing base, Westcare continues to engage in research projects which increase our understanding of the needs of children and young people in our services.

Since 2009 Westcare have participated in five research projects with partners including the University of Melbourne, the Australian Catholic University and  the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute at RMIT. Along with other community service organizations such as Mackillop, Berry Street Victoria, and Anglicare, we continue to build our knowledge and the voices of our clients.

Participation in research has prompted major reforms at a local level at Westcare, and more broadly, across Victoria and beyond. This includes participation in a major research action project which has assisted our understanding of client-archiving and record-keeping systems and assisted us to develop better ways of supporting care leavers in their quest for understanding of identity.

Exciting Year Ahead

  • Consilience is coming
  • Huge focus and exciting changes so we can take the best care of people who look after children and young people
  • All members of the Program Development and Training are undertaking Masters and PhD studies
  • Certificate IV and Diploma stydues are already booked in
  • Beginning innovative Westcare Induction Program for all staff and volunteers
  • Monthly training and information sessions for all staff
  • Launching Westcare Annual Awards
  • Expanding E-Learning
  • Ongoing engagement in research
  • Undertaking system review and implementation of a new model of client archiving systems across the The Salvation Army's Australian Southern Territory
  • Ongoing quality-improvement projects and initiatives
  • Continuing the amazing With-Care learning journey in partnership with Berry Street Take Two and residential workers across the state.

Training Case Study: Martha

Martha was 63 years old. It was 49 years since she left school. Martha had not been in a classroom at all since she was 14.

Whilst it was incredibly daunting at first, with the support of the trainer, family, colleagues and her employer, Martha linked together all of her life's experiences, skills and wisdom to complete the Certificate IV in Child Youth & Family Intervention - Residential and Home Based Care.

Martha was absolutely thrilled when she was able to complete the assessments and graduate, and her family and employers were incredibly proud of her.

This case study highlights Westcare’s commitment to looking after people who look after others. As our organisation is underpinned by a wellbeing and learning culture, we believe everyone should be part of our lifelong learning journey.