“feeling at home” in out-of-home care: interior design strategies for living in residential care


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Illustration by Hayden Daniels

“Every child or young person who is removed from their parents has the right to live somewhere that feels like home … [yet] being in care did not feel like home for the vast majority of children and young people” (In our own words: Systemic enquiry into the lived experience of children and young people in the Victorian out-of-home care system 2019).

Drawing on the results of a series of workshops undertaken to develop interior design strategies for “feeling at home”, co-designed with young people who have lived experience of residential care, this talk opens up a discussion about the role, presence, value, contribution, participation, relevance and potential in out-of-home care. This conversation aims to highlight and activate the critical role of design as a human right.

This initiative is part of the LIVEability project, an ongoing collaboration between Mary Featherston AM and Suzie Attiwill to raise awareness about the affect and effect of the spaces we live in and how to create, through interior design know-how, living environments that are both practical and pleasurable.