centre for excellence in therapeutic care

The CETC mobilises knowledge about “what works” in out-of-home care to better resource carers and organisations supporting children and young people living in all forms of care, including foster and kinship care, residential care and secure care.

our vision

Our vision is that organisations and carers can be better equipped with the knowledge, skills and networks to ensure that children and young people experience safe, meaningful and resilient relationships in every form of out-of-home care.

About the team

meet the team

Noel Macnamara


Noel is the Deputy Director of the CETC, and the Executive Manager, Research and Policy at the Australian Childhood Foundation. Noel brings 30 years of experience to the Centre in therapeutic out of home care and child protection having worked in operational and senior management roles, policy and organisational consultancy. In 2013, Noel’s contribution to the field was acknowledged in his being awarded the Robin Clark Award in Victoria for his contribution to the field of child protection and out of home care. He has a particular interest in supervision and leadership and organisational development.
Glenys Bristow

Senior Residential Care Advisor

Glenys is a Senior Residential Care Advisor for the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care in NSW and brings over 35 plus years experience in therapeutic residential care as a residential care worker, manager, trainer, and consultant. In 2003, Glenys was awarded the Robin Clark Award and later the Residential Care Learning & Development Strategy (RCLDS) Leadership Award in Residential Care for demonstrating achievement and innovation having significant impact on residential care systems and outcomes for children and young people. Glenys is passionate about providing relevant and up to date industry informed training and caring for the workers who care for the young people. Glenys recently completed her Doctor of Education researching what makes a good residential worker – Artistry Fact or Fiction?
Kelly Royds

Head of Knowledge Mobilisation & Innovation

Kelly Royds is the Head of Knowledge Mobilisation and Innovation with the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, where she works to mobilise practice and research knowledge into training, education and policy resources. Kelly works in close partnership with therapeutic care providers, practitioners and other key government and non-government stakeholders to progress the goals of the CETC. She has spent the past 15+ years developing child and youth-centred policies, evaluation systems and programs that lift up and respond to the voices of children and young people across human services and not-for-profit sectors in Australia, South-East Asia and the United States. Kelly has a particular interest in the power of storytelling to improve systems and outcomes for young people.
Dr Lynne McPherson (SCU)

Director of Research

Dr McPherson brings a strong professional and academic background in child protection and out of home care spanning more than 30 years in practice, management, training and research. She has considerable research and organisational consultancy experience, including but not limited to evaluation of therapeutic care programs, numerous organisational consultancy and development projects and leadership, supervision and change management. In 1997, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to examine international best practice in child protection. In 2017 Dr McPherson and Noel Macnamara released a book ‘Supervising Child Protection Practice: What Works?’ An Evidence Informed Approach. This book was published and distributed internationally by Springer Publishers. Alongside Dr Lynne McPherson is an SCU based Research Team: Kathomi Gatwiri – Senior Research Officer (SCU) Nadine Cameron – Research Officer (SCU) Natalie Parmenter – Research Assistant (SCU).
Previous slide
Next slide


about us


spotlighted stories

About Stories
  • All blogs
  • Behaviours that challenge
  • Care system
  • Care teams
  • Child & youth development
  • FASD
  • Foster care
  • Kinship care
  • Leaving care
  • Lived experience

The most difficult thing about residential care work

The most difficult aspect of working in residential care is not managing the behavioural challenges of the children and young people, the demanding shifts, or the lack of resources. Rather, it is the surge of feelings that can surface while doing the work. Even calm, caring, and sensitive residential care workers can often be shocked by their own anger and hatred.

Untangling the challenges of FASD and trauma

In honour of FASD Awareness Month this September, the CETC brought together esteemed thought leaders Dr Julia Shekleton, Prue Walker, and Noel Macnamara to delve into the complex intersection between Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and trauma. This panel discussion explored the ways we can integrate our understanding of FASD and trauma to better support and care for children within the out-of-home care system.

Hard vs soft skills: which are more important in residential care work?

When it comes to working in residential care, organisations often look for workers with qualifications as evidence of theoretical knowledge and "hard skills", despite the clear needs of young people in residential care that require the "soft skills" of empathetic and compassionate communication. Which is more important in this crucial caring role?

Show more

Get involved

jobs, research, writing

Working at the CETC

As a division of the Australian Childhood Foundation, the CETC primary aim is to mobilise knowledge to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care.  If you have a commitment to hard work and would love the opportunity to support system change, we would love to hear from you.

Participate in research

Our research relies on strong partnerships with practitioners, organisations and those with lived experience of out-of-home care. If you would like be involved, please read more about our latest research project. 

Share your knowledge

We believe in the common saying, “none of us is as smart as all of us”. If you are a carer, practitioner, policy maker or researcher with knowledge to share, we would love to hear from you.


send us your enquiry