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Research & Training Institute

The Lighthouse Institute was developed to build, expand and share Lighthouse’s evidence-based model of care and program outcomes.

The Lighthouse Institute

As the independent research arm of Lighthouse Foundation, The Lighthouse Institute was developed to build, expand and share Lighthouse’s evidence-based model of care and program outcomes. The Institute provides consultancy support, research and training services to the care sector, especially those exploring trauma-informed practice and therapeutic care.

How WE measure our outcomes

The key element in measuring our young people’s outcomes is the individual development plans we specially create for each of our kids. The individual development plan (IDP) is a therapeutic tool designed to create a thoughtful and individually tailored treatment program for each young person in our care. Our IDPs continually monitor the effectiveness of our therapeutic treatment programs and practices through tracking the wellbeing of the young people in our care. Lighthouse understands wellbeing through five domains that address all aspects of development: relationships, emotions and attachments; physical wellness; life skills; education and employment; and, cultural and spiritual connection. The IDP practice also provides the organisation with vital information about the effectiveness of the Lighthouse Model of Care to support the recovery process for traumatised children and young people. The IDP, is made of 5 developmental domains, which include: attachment, life skills, physical wellness, cultural and spiritual belongingness & education and training.

Our daily behaviour logs track everyday observable behaviours that measure wellbeing outcomes for the young people in our care. In addition, monthly IDPs are conducted with the aim to empower young people to foster their own wellbeing. The IDP asks the young person and key worker to reflect on the young person’s wellbeing over the past month in all five domains and provides a space for the young person to identify goals.

This continuous intake of data collection allows us to make even more informed, evidence-based decisions so that we can make sure we continue to provide the highest standard of care outcomes for our babies, children and young people. We also ensure that the young people themselves have a voice in self-determination and self-evaluation processes.

How OTHERS measure our outcomes

Independent (third party) Evaluations are also initiated by the Lighthouse Institute. An independent ‘Social Return on Investment’ report by Social Ventures Australia (2012) estimated that the work Lighthouse Foundation returns to the wider community delivers approximately $12 in social value for every $1 invested, making the Lighthouse Model of Care one of the most cost-effective therapeutic programs in Australia. Of over 130 charities evaluated on this same scale by Social Ventures Australia, Lighthouse Foundation retained the highest return-on-investment ratio (as of 2019).

In 2018, Ernst and Young conducted an independent evaluation of the long-term effectiveness of the Lighthouse program in ending homelessness permanently for the young people who have graduated from the residential programs. It found that over 75% of Lighthouse graduates never again experienced a night of homelessness. This was a back-up of the Social Ventures Australia report from 2011 that showed over 80% of past residents ended their homeless state permanently.

Our Lighthouse Institute Trainings

The institute provides training around Australia to individuals, groups, organisations and communities with a focus on attachment, development, trauma and organisational culture. Training is tailored to the specific needs of individuals and groups and has been developed using more than two decades of hands-on-service delivery, reflection and improvement.

The consultancy side of our work continues to grow steadily as knowledge of our Model of Care and its effectiveness spreads throughout the sector. We have proudly provided training to more than 2,000 practitioners and leading organisations across Australia. The Lighthouse Institute was also engaged to provide support to the participants in the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013.

“Our evidence and extensive longitudinal data collection proves that the program helps stabilise young people’s lives and gradually rebuilds their skills, confidence and social support until they are ready for healthy, independent living. Over 1,000 young people have moved through our program and our positive outcomes provide strong evidence that the strategy works both cost-effectively, and over the long term.”

Lighthouse Foundation for Youth

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