North Lakes Children’s Services 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.
NLCS provides every child and young person with individualised therapeutic interventions and care to meet their needs. We provide a safe and nurturing environment, where everyone is supported. An approach founded upon unconditional positive regard 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 issues. Staff skills and interventions work through the associated challenging behaviour 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.
Forming a therapeutic relationship with the young people in our care, includes empathy, consistency and trust means we can facilitate change. We create an environment for sustained positive change, focusing on emotional resilience and well-being.
Access to psychotherapy
For children who need more intensive therapy we have weekly psychotherapy sessions available. Art therapy and drama therapy 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 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.
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.