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From therapy to therapeutic: the continuum of trauma-informed care

  • Claudia A. O’Hara (a1)


On 1st July 2015, Out of Home Care (OOHC) services in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) joined together to form the ACT Together consortium and aimed to improve outcomes for children and young people who are unable to live with their birth families. Within the consortium, the Therapeutic Services Team (TST) steers the evolution of trauma-informed therapeutic practice, a key focus of which is the establishment of therapeutic care. Current research indicates that a holistic therapeutic approach has the greatest impact in supporting a young person to overcome adverse childhood experiences. This leads to the necessity of a therapeutic care system providing input across the whole domain of OOHC, including trauma-informed therapeutic carers. A common issue met by the TST is the lack of clarity regarding the difference between therapeutic intervention and therapy. This paper defines the concepts of therapy and therapeutic care, discusses how this forms a continuum which flows throughout the whole OOHC system and reflects on what support carers require to make the shift to becoming therapeutic carers, including outlining their role in underpinning better outcomes for the children and young people who pass through their doors.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Claudia A. O’Hara, Emails:;


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From therapy to therapeutic: the continuum of trauma-informed care

  • Claudia A. O’Hara (a1)


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