Fostering Staff Resilience To Support Vulnerable Children In Victoria’s Court System

Fostering staff resilience to support vulnerable children in Victoria’s court system

The men and women working within Victoria’s Children’s Court Family Division are committed to helping some of the state’s most vulnerable children, young people and families.


Their roles are demanding and a series of Government reviews into Victoria’s child protection system have indicated a need for further training for practitioners working within this system.


The Multi-disciplinary Training Initiative (MDTI) has been developed to ensure appropriate training is delivered to promote psychological health and wellbeing in the workplace. The initiative is led by the Children’s Court of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid, and the Department of Health and Human Services.


The aim of the MDTI is: To provide opportunities for professionals working within the statutory child protection system to come together to develop a shared understanding of each other’s role and the need to work together to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families.


In support of this, Phoenix Australia was invited to design and deliver seven one-day workshops that were held in Melbourne, Traralgon, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Shepparton. The training workshops and accompanying resource package included course materials, resources and handouts. The workshop content was tailored to meet the needs of the multidisciplinary group of professionals attending the sessions.


A total of 99 practitioners attended the two metropolitan and five regional workshops designed to help those who attended understand wellbeing and the importance of resilience, learn about the impacts of stress and trauma exposure in the workplace, and learn skills to manage those impacts.


The workshop also helped participants develop a personalised self-care plan, learn how to support colleagues, and discover when and where to seek help.


Judge Amanda Chambers, President of the Children’s Court of Victoria, supported the program by opening the final training session and highlighting the importance of utilising psychological services when needed.


“Creating a Court environment that promotes and sustains psychological health and wellbeing is more important than ever when working in the specialist environment of the Children’s Court. I am pleased to see that the sessions developed for this program not only look to identifying and managing vicarious trauma, but also focus on how to cultivate and maintain resilience and self-care. For many of us, peer support is crucial to wellbeing, but so too should we seek professional and guided assistance when needed.”

Judge Amanda Chambers, President of the Children’s Court of Victoria


Ms Anita Savic, Senior Clinical Specialist at Phoenix Australia, said that, “It has been a privilege to support the vital work of Victoria’s Children’s Court. The training we provided to staff will assist them to continue to help vulnerable children and families, while supporting their own wellbeing.”