The Hillside Family of Agencies hosted their first annual CARE in Action Day this month at their Varick campus to celebrate how CARE, the Residential Child Care Project’s program model that promotes evidence-based approaches in supporting troubled youth, has transformed their practice.
The Varick Campus in Romulus, NY, which provides residential care for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges, adopted the CARE program model in 2007. CARE stands for Children and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change. The model is a research-informed framework created by the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) at the Brofenbrenner Center that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships between caregivers and youth.
The celebration included a showcase of student artwork, a keynote speech by a former resident, a performance by The Youth Voice Band, and seminars explaining how the CARE program model works.
“It was pure joy to be included in the CARE event,” said Martha Holden, director of the Residential Child Care Project and creator of CARE. “The engagement of staff, children, and their families made for an exciting and poignant day. It was very emotional – the mother speaking, the keynote, the youth band – such a visual representation of the powerful and important work that is happening at Varick.”
CARE is used in more than 50 agencies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, all collecting data and contributing to the on-going development of the knowledge base of what works in residential care.
The CARE model improves the social dynamics in residential care settings by engaging staff in a systematic effort to provide developmentally-enriched living environments, create a sense of normality, and improve the socio-emotional and developmental outcomes for children.
The CARE model is based on six core principles: relationship-based, trauma-informed, developmentally-focused, competency-centered, family-involved and ecologically-oriented.