Where a child referred to us has a relationship with members of birth or foster families, we work closely with family members to facilitate and support these relationships and their recovery if they have been damaged or are damaging.
Our specialist Placement and Family Support service works with children and their families, both children resident in our therapeutic facilities, and also children who are not resident with us. We have 40 years experience of providing tailor-made therapeutic support to children who have complex needs and complex family networks.
We seek to work closely with the entire network of external adults who play significant roles in the lives of children with whom we work, because such work is an important factor in each child’s recovery.
Integrated Therapeutic Fostering
This is a pioneering therapeutic fostering service that has been developed in collaboration with a leading independent fostering provider, Anglia Fostering Agency (AFA). This partnership utilises the strengths, skills and expertise of the two organisations to offer a new Integrated Therapeutic Fostering service, initially in the East Anglia area.
Working with families and carers
It is often our experience that family systems have evolved in a way that ‘elects’ the children and young people referred to our facilities to represent and conduct themselves as a problem on behalf of the family.
As the child becomes more securely attached within a therapeutic relationship, or within one of our therapeutic communities, and the pattern and meaning of their behaviour is elucidated, a wider dysfunction within their family becomes apparent. Our Placement and Family Support service is designed to provide dedicated support in these circumstances. We seek to work with families and carers in a way that enables the whole familial system to benefit.
Where appropriate, we endeavour to make our emerging understanding of the child and its family available to the professional networks who are working alongside us with the child and his/her family or carers. Such joint working greatly improves the possibility of good outcomes for the child. Good corporate parenting results from the relevant adults spending time together making sense of the children and the surrounding systems. When adults think together in this way, it is empowering for children; when we do not, it is disconcerting and demoralising for them.
Permission to recover
Working with the wider network of social workers, teachers and psychiatrists, alongside the family, allows all aspects of the system which holds the child in suffering to be considered and addressed.
Where we are able to engage successfully with a family and the surrounding systems in this way, the child will, more often than not, be able to relinquish psychiatric diagnoses and prescribed medication, move forward to recovery, and take up opportunities for educational, social and personal development.