Estelle Paterson


Estelle Paterson is a strategic thinker formal qualifications and more than a decade’s experience specialising in the tertiary, secondary and universal child, youth and family services in non-government organisations in Qld, and South Australia. Estelle has a passion for championing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and young people to grow up within their family, community and culture and is dedicated to improving outcomes through implementation and delivery of evidence informed approaches.


Moving forward together – Partnership to support Aboriginal children to return home (Poster Presentation)

OzChild is piloting Australia’s first evidence-based foster care program, Treatment Foster Care Oregon-C (TFCO-C) in the South West Qld region. As a new organisation in the Qld sector, Ozchild recognised the need to seek the advice and wisdom of the community it serves, and as such has developed a strong working relationship with Goolburri Health Advancement, a local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation who support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, families and communities in the South West, with a range of services to strengthen families and communities.

Ozchild and Goolburri have forged a strong, enabling partnership to ensure the program is delivered in a culturally respectful and responsive manner to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and that services are strength-based within a wholistic approach to working with the family. This poster presentation will demonstrate how two agencies now walk together with shared vision and purpose, to ensure that wherever possible, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are returned and supported to live with their family, kin and community.


The journey from residential care to permanency through evidence- based treatment foster care (TFCO-C). (Poster Presentation)

OzChild has been piloting Australia’s first evidence-based foster care program, Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) in Victoria since April 2017, and has now implemented the program into South West region Qld and in NSW in 2018. TFCO is an intensive, short-term (six to 12 months) model which has evidenced effectiveness in addressing behavioural issues in children and young people so they can be successful in living in family based environments.

Initially designed for the 12-17 year old age cohort, OzChild delivers the model adaption for 7-11 year olds (TFCO-C). The primary aim of TFCO is to reduce the number of children and young people in residential care, by transitioning them, with intensive supports, to birth family/kin/community or into long term family based placements.

This presentation will present initial findings from our implementation in Australia and highlight how an “off the shelf approach” can be a critical part of a continuum of care response to child protection, providing therapeutic foster care and home-based services that are trauma informed and delivered utilising interventions that fit the family’s culture and are strength based. The program has a systemic approach to children and young people with a focus on supporting families to be the agent for sustainable change.

Implementation challenges will also be discussed including cultural suitability of the approaches, the need for local customisation and the training, supervision and coaching needs to ensure these approaches provide effective, sustainable solutions to improving permanency outcomes for children and young people.

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