How can communities contribute to the wellbeing and life outcomes of Australia’s most vulnerable groups?

How can an understanding of trauma improve cross-sectoral work with homeless young people, SSA-ITGD young people, Indigenous communities and emerging communities?

What models and approaches are effective in breaking the cycle of homelessness?

What factors lead to better life outcomes for adults and young people leaving out of home care?

These are some of the questions that are being asked through our research and evaluation program at Lighthouse Institute.

Our research and evaluation work centers on developing an evidence base that can assist in improving the wellbeing and life outcomes of children, young people and other vulnerable communities. Through our research expertise, partnerships and evaluation projects, we are focused on developing a robust platform of applied research that informs best-practice models for breaking cycles of homelessness, trauma and disadvantage. Extending on the model of care established at the Lighthouse Foundation, the Institute is focused on developing outcomes-based approaches to promoting child and adolescent health; building our knowledge about therapeutic responses to trauma; and enhancing the capacity of institutions, services and communities to effectively address barriers to wellbeing and social inclusion.


Our Research Program

Building upon an inter-disciplinary approach, the Institute’s research program encompasses the following priority areas:

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Attachment and Trauma-Informed Practice and Policy
  • Youth Homelessness, Out of Home Care and Leaving Care
  • Experiences of Therapeutic Residential Care
  • Community Psychology and Ecological Models of Wellness
  • Resilience and Wellbeing of Vulnerable Groups

Partnerships and Research Priorities

The Institute is developing strong, collaborative partnerships with research centres and leaders across Victoria, Australia and internationally; including our major research partner Orygen Youth Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne. Our research output is underpinned by trauma and attachment theories and ecological theories of wellness, and draws together interdisciplinary perspectives from the fields of child and adolescent psychology/psychiatry, community psychology, trauma neurobiology studies, youth and social work, gender studies, sociology and critical theory.