(03) 9093 7500


The Lighthouse TFMC™ is proven to be one of the most cost-effective social programs in existence. This unique model of care incorporates comprehensive theories on human development and empirically supported practices from a range of disciplines. It notably focuses on:

  • The psycho/social and emotional development of children, adolescents and young adults
  • Studies of family dynamics and the effect of stable/unstable family life on shaping the child and the future adult
  • The efficacy of different therapeutic interventions in assisting disadvantaged young people to reach mature, productive and interdependent adulthood
  • The integration of individual, organizational and community approaches to promoting and maintaining the well being of young people.
  • Neurobiology and the impact of trauma on the developing brain

Recently an independent assessment was commissioned by Social Ventures Australia to complete an analysis of Lighthouse Foundation’s Social Return on Investment (SROI). It proved for every dollar received Lighthouse returns $12 of social value. 

That means that by donating to Lighthouse you’re contribution is making 12 times more impact to our important work helping homeless teens recover from trauma.

 The Social Return On Investment (SROI) analysis is an internationally recognised methodology that measures the value created for stakeholders. SROI is a framework for identifying, measuring and accounting for the value an activity creates from the perspective of each stakeholder.

This important assessment gave us the following impressive insights, proving the success and impact of our model:

  • The intensive support model leads to a holistic transformation of young people’s lives.
  • The changes experienced by young people are sustainable and result in permanent exit from homelessness for 8 out of 10 young people that complete the program.
  • Investment into Lighthouse Foundation generates significant social returns for all stakeholders.
  • For every dollar invested into Lighthouse Foundation programs, more than $12 in social value is created.
  • The Government is a large beneficiary of the work done by Lighthouse Foundation which decreases the future burden of chronic homelessness and creates direct benefit to Treasury in the form of decreased welfare and increased taxes.

To read the executive summary of the report click here or to find out more about our impressive model of care, contact 03 9093 7500.


Theoretical Underpinning of the TFMC™

Attachment Theory

Describes the biological and psychological need to bond with and relate to primary caregivers as fundamental to the survival of human beings. The ability to trust and to relate to others is established in infancy to early childhood through the quality of the infant/primary caregiver relationship which influences and shapes development and behaviour in later life.

Attachment Theory suggests that there are four key characteristics of ‘attachment’:

  • Proximity Maintenance – the desire to be near the people who are attached to;
  • Safe Haven – returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a threat;
  • Secure Base – the attachment figure acts as a secure base from which the child can explore the surrounding environment; and
  • Separation Anxiety – anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure.

(Bowlby 1969; Becker-Weidman & Shell 2005; Bretherton 2007; Hardy 2007; Sonkin 2005)

Object Relations Theory

This suggests that a prime motivational drive in every individual is to form relationships with others. The style of relationship that develops in early childhood becomes part of an internal blueprint or a learned way of relating to others that is replicated when we establish and maintain future relationships, which impact on our sense of identity.  Young people from a deprived background may have difficulty in forming and maintaining constructive and healthy relationships with others. The more traumatic their early experience the more self-destructive some of their interpersonal relationships can be (Dockar-Drysdale 1991; Scharff & Scharff 1991; Winnicott 1953).

Psychological Wellness Theory

The theory is a psycho-ecological concept that highlights the importance of promoting favourable conditions that nurture the personal (individual), relational (group), and collective (community) wellbeing of individuals. Overall psychological wellness can only be achieved through the combined presence of personal, relational and collective wellbeing. The Lighthouse TFMC™ supports the Young People to develop wellness in all these areas, by providing holistic therapeutic care (Prilleltensky & Nelson, 2000).

Neurobiology and Trauma Research

This has shown how the brain develops, under what conditions and how the brain manages behaviour and emotions.  Much of what we have learnt has supported long-standing knowledge about the centrality of secure attachment in child development.  Through this knowledge we have learnt much about the way that trauma, abuse and neglect impact on the developing brain.  We have learnt more precisely how traumatic experience can, under certain circumstances, damage the brain’s development as well as the approaches that can be put into place to create healing (Kolk, McFarlane & Weisaeth, 2007; Perry, 2006).

Theory Successfully Applied

The TFMC™ has incorporated the above theories into a model of human development and needs-based clinical care (Barton et al, 2011).

The family setting, the one-on-one relationship with a Carer and the involvement of other specialists, provide the Young Person with a safe, supportive and understanding environment. Here they can confront and deal with maladaptive and destructive patterns of relating, and learn how to form and sustain positive and reciprocal relationships with others – a hallmark of healthy and autonomous adulthood.