Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: Anglicare Victoria

ProjectTEACHaR pilot program

Amount $880,000 (total)

Date2012 and 2014


These grants were approved under previous grants policy
Building organisational capacity Develop and pilot an evidence-based, scalable model for state-wide roll-out.
Extending opportunity Improve the life outcomes of children and young people living in out-of-home care by improving their educational engagement and achievements.
Collaboration and partnership Department of Education and Training, Department of Health & Human Services, Berry Street, MacKillop Family Services, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, 200 Victorian schools, foster and kinship carers.

TEACHaR gets an A+ report card for education trial outcomes

Many children living in out-of-home care disengage from learning at an early age. HMSTrust’s funding enabled Anglicare Victoria to trial a response to this issue in Melbourne’s Eastern and Southern Metropolitan Regions and was the catalyst for support from other philanthropic trusts and the Victorian Government. The successful model now operates in all four Melbourne Metropolitan Regions, Gippsland Region and the Loddon Catchment.

Image Anglicare TEACHaR program


  • As a group, children in care under-perform the general student population in every academic measure, leaving them at high risk of experiencing poverty, housing and employment instability, poor physical and mental health, unplanned pregnancy, isolation and incarceration.
  • The TEACHaR model provides direct and dedicated support to build up the confidence and passion of these children to engage with learning and achieve to their potential. The program also works to build the capacity of schools/classroom teachers to understand the needs of these children and be better able to support them.
  • In 2013, the first year of the program, there were three teachers located in Melbourne’s Eastern and Southern Metropolitan Regions. By 2019, 19 teachers delivered support in each of the the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service’s (DHHS) four divisions with TEACHaR programs operating in Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Metropolitan Regions, Gippsland Region and the Loddon Catchment which comprises 6 LGAs surrounding Greater Bendigo,
  • During the six years TEACHaR has operated, over 500 children in care across more than 300 schools and alternative learning settings from kindergarten to Year 12 have been supported.
  • The program has proven extremely successful. Children who have had 12 months support from the TEACHaR program show the following outcomes:

~ The percentage of students ‘always or usually actively engaged in learning’ increased from 54.7% at service entry to 73.8% after 12 months support (high correlation with improvements in ‘happiness at school’ and ‘working hard at school’ measures).

~ The percentage of students with ‘average or above academic achievement’ increased from 24.3% at service entry to 57.3% after 12 months.

~ Students with ‘average or above’ literacy skills increased from 25.4% to 53.7% while those with ‘average or above’ numeracy skills increased from 20.5% to 48.8%.

~ The percentage of students not attending school dropped from 15.7% at service entry to 3.7% at 12 months. Those attending school full-time rose from 66.3% to 76.8%.


Updated 22 Feb 2019.

“I write to support the continuation of the TEACHaR program for the simple reason it works, it supports, and it brings about substantial and longitudinal change in the child and our teachers. As a principal of wide experience never have I seen or experienced such an effective intervention and support program for these children which it serves.” Raymond Yates, Principal, Monbulk Primary.