Panel Discussion – How do you find, recruit and keep good residential care workers?


“[Working in residential care] can be hugely rewarding and also offer working patterns that can suit many people's lives. It's equally demanding – physically and emotionally – highly specialist and technical, not for everyone (or anyone). Not all the people who could do it want to, not all the people who want to are necessarily suited to it either,” (Gallagher 2022). 

Are you having trouble finding & keeping the right people for therapeutic residential care? Do you know what you are looking for when looking to recruit residential care workers? Are you losing brilliant, trained, and experienced therapeutic residential workers to other parts of the system?  

Join us for a panel discussion with Paul McDonald (CEO of Anglicare Victoria), Simon Walsh (CEO of Allambi Care), Shelley Wall (CEO Infinity Community Solutions) and Dr. Glenys Bristow on the challenges and opportunities of recruitment and retention in residential care.   
We will invite panellists to consider: 
  • What makes a good residential care worker?
  • What are the past and current constraints? 
  • Challenges of retention and high turnover rate, and  
  • How can we better support and respect residential workers and their role within organisations? 

Our Panel 
Paul McDonald, CEO of Anglicare Victoria: Paul is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Anglicare Victoria, the state’s largest provider of foster care, family welfare and youth support services, and founding Chair of Home Stretch. He is the former chair of the National Review into Alcohol Advertising and former Head of Child Protection for Department of Human Services. 
Simon Walsh, CEO of Allambi Care: Simon is the Chief Executive Officer of Allambi Care, a not-for-profit organisation that operates in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Simon leads a multi-disciplinary team of experts who hold extensive experience and knowledge in the out-of-home care, outreach, and disability industries. Allambi Care operate a suite of services which includes Early Intervention and Outreach Services, Foster Care, Intensive Therapeutic Care, Residential Care and Disability Services to children, young people, adults, and families.   
Shelley Wall, CEO Infinity Community Solutions:  
Shelley Wall is the CEO Of Infinity Community Solutions and a leader in the non-government community and family service sector. She has a record of developing and improving consistent service delivery and practice standards.
Dr Glenys Bristow 
Glenys has spent 35 years in therapeutic residential care as a care worker, manager, trainer, and organisational 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 a 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?   

Background reading: CETC practice guide - what makes a good therapeutic care worker: https://www.cetc.org.au/what-makes-a-good-therapeutic-residential-care-worker-practice-guide/

Target Audience

This panel discussion will be of interest to managers, senior managers, executives and other leaders who are interested in or support the recruitment and retention of residential care workers in Australia.  

Virtual workshop


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