Children are not blank slates from which the past can be erased

John Bowlby

We recognise that the young people in our care have complex needs which need to be understood within the context of their early history and experiences. Therapeutic work with our young people is an ongoing priority, which should be woven into their daily experiences. Our therapeutic model is at the heart of our way of working. It informs and underpins how we engage with our young people throughout their day. Our therapeutic pathway enables us to support their needs by using psychological assessment and formulation, which enables us to develop a unique therapeutic plan for each child aimed at helping them to address their individual difficulties. We have a dedicated therapeutic team who are there to support our young people and our staff teams. Our team of Clinical and Assistant Psychologists support each of our homes across the organisation.

Therapeutically Trained Staff:
We support our staff teams to deliver psychologically informed care. Our STAR therapeutic training package (Safety focussed, Trauma aware, Attachment informed, Resilience building) helps staff to develop the specialist skills to support our children and young people’s social, emotional and behavioural needs. STAR is underpinned by attachment and trauma models and helps promote the use of a therapeutic re-parenting approach, drawing on the DDP model called PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy). We recognise that it is the connected relationship with our staff which can provide the most fundamental vehicle for change. Training and ongoing support for our staff is essential.

Our care pathway:

*Psychological Assessment: undertaken by a Clinical Psychologist, this assessment is completed within the first few months of the young person’s arrival into our care and helps us to make sense of the young person’s strengths and difficulties. A psychological formulation of the child’s difficulties in the context of their previous experiences informs the therapeutic care package which is developed for each young person.

*Therapeutic Action Plan: we identify specific areas of difficulty to support the young person with during their time in our care. These goals are identified by the Psychologist and the young person’s key worker to form a therapeutic action plan (TAP). We track and measure the young person’s progress at regular quarterly meetings, ensuring that we are constantly striving to achieve the best outcomes for their long term future. We offer direct therapeutic input to our young people where necessary. These are usually individually tailored packages of therapeutic intervention which have been assessed by our therapeutic team as appropriate to support them with specific issues.

*Psychological Consultation: Our residential staff are supported with regular psychological consultation from a Clinical Psychologist attached to each home. This helps to support them to continue to understand and connect emotionally with the young person using a psychologically informed approach. Psychologists continue to assess the changing needs of the young person working together with the staff teams to respond to any specific challenges which a young person may be facing.

*Transitions: We constantly strive to improve the long term outcomes for children in our care. We aim to focus on helping our young people to develop emotionally and socially and to improve their resilience skills. Our goal is to enable them to be better prepared for their journey into independence after leaving our care.