At North Lakes we understand that children who have experienced early childhood trauma and have faced difficulties in their lives are affected in the way they relate to others, regulate emotions and function on a daily basis.
We adopt an attachment and trauma informed methodology to our care. This is implemented using the Principles of a PACE approach , high levels of empathetic responding using a whole brain functioning method and therapeutic parenting. Our skilled staff look beyond presenting behaviour to address the underlying emotional need of the children in our care which results in long term positive change.
As therapeutic staff we:
- Understand how trauma and attachment affects the child’s brain and development and is shown through their actions and behaviours
- Are able to interpret the Child’s action correctly
- Know the child’s history which helps decode behaviour
- Are able to react consciously and with empathy to the child’s behaviour, rather than emotionally.
- Receive excellent support and supervision
- Recognise compassion fatigue and blocked care within our own practice.
Being attachment focused and trauma sensitive in our approach every child and young person benefits from specific therapeutic interventions to meet their needs. We provide a safe and nurture rich environment, where everyone is seen, validated and supported. Highly attuned care enables full potentials to emerge and be recognised.
The staff team have the knowledge and expertise needed to support young people who have emotional, interpersonal and mental health needs. Staff skill and intervention work through the associated/visible behaviours in a way that promotes growth and change. Staff support allows a young person to process their past trauma and move forward in a positive way.
Jayne Forster, a therapist and consultant, provides guidance and support to the staff team working with the presenting behaviours. She helps all to look beyond the surface to address underlying needs. Training, professional supervision and facilitated team meetings are also provided. We personalise each young person’s care. Please Jayne’s website for further details about the scope of her services: https://www.jayneforster.co.uk/
Forming a therapeutic relationship with the young people in our care, includes empathy, consistency and trust – it means we can facilitate change. We create an environment for sustained positive progression, focusing on emotional resilience and well-being. We help children to identify emotions, name them and understand how they impact them.
Access to psychotherapy
For children who need more intensive therapy we have weekly psychotherapy sessions available. Our consultant psychotherapist and team of other therapists can facilitate Play, Drama and Equine therapy this enables work to be undertaken verbally and non-verbally, making it suitable for younger children and those who find talking about the challenges they face difficult. These weekly hourly sessions are available on a long-term basis for young people who require intensive/on-going support. For more information on the external therapy service – the art therapy we access for young people please refer to the PAC website.
Research has shown that the trauma and associated attachment problems that most children who are looked after have been subjected to significantly impacts on their brain functioning, their physiological responses and ability to relate to others. Without appropriate support and therapeutic intervention the impact of this early childhood trauma manifests in behavioural problems and mental health problems. Children and young people struggle to regulate their emotions, struggle with interpersonal interactions, often creating circumstances where they are rejected, let down, they have low self- esteem and little self worth.
Our framework provides staff with understanding and support, whilst giving the children and young people the interventions and conditions they require for positive change, process past trauma and reach their full potential.
All staff will receive training on the following:
- Attachment and trauma
- PACE model Values and Principles
- Whole brain functioning strategies- empathetic responding
- Therapeutic parenting and natural consequences
- Assessing behaviour and using interventions
- Training focusing on specific behaviours and needs is also delivered when required.
The first intervention helps caregivers to re-interpret children’s behavioural signals so that they provide nurturance even when it is not elicited. Children who have experienced early adversity especially need nurturing care.
Secondly, many children who have experienced early adversity are dysregulated emotionally and biologically. The next step helps caregivers provide a responsive, predictable environment that enhances young children’s behavioural and regulatory capabilities. This supports care givers in providing co-regulation skills so that eventually children can self-regulate their feelings and behaviours.
The third component helps caregivers decrease behaviours that could be overwhelming or frightening to children in our care. This looks at reflective practice and the care givers own experiences and motivations. We learn from the challenges faced and implement change to meet the child’s needs.