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  • Evidence indicates that foster care and residential care are complex activities that require rehabilitative and therapeutic approaches and skills.
  • At Family Care, we use psychologically informed practice to improve well-being, educational achievement, placement transition and long term outcomes.
    Andrew O'Reilly – Director of Residential

Therapeutic Services

Family Care delivers therapeutic care and education for children and young people who have suffered emotional and psychological trauma as a result of sexual exploitation, abuse, violence and neglect.

At Family Care we firmly believe that clearly defined therapeutic approaches enable staff to have a better understanding of how young people’s experiences affect them; considering their emotional needs and fostering resilience in them.

The word ‘therapeutic’ is a term that has been widely used, especially in recent years – yet it is not fully understood or applied in many cases.

Through regular consultations, all the services within Family Care are supported by either our two therapists and/or our independent Clinical Psychologist. Consultation addresses both the emotional and mental health needs of young people but also supports staff development, knowledge, skills and confidence.

The consultation across all of Family Care’s services makes our model powerful and it can impact the greatest change, particularly where our services work together with particular young people, for example when a young person accesses care and education with us.

"Clearly defined therapeutic approaches enable staff to have a better understanding of how young people’s experiences affect them, considering their emotional needs and fostering resilience."
SCIE Research, 2012
"Consultation is the primary model of on going support to teams. Consultation is a formal process, theoretically underpinned and supported by a clear evidence base. It is fully compliant with NICE Guidelines and National Minimum Standards for Children’s Homes."
NICE Guidelines

Practice model

Family Care have embraced the ‘Secure Base’ approach as its practice model. The Secure Base Model (Schofield & Beek) provides a positive framework for therapeutic caregiving, which helps infants, children and young people to move towards greater security and builds resilience. It focuses on the interactions that occur between caregivers and children on a day to day, minute by minute basis in the home environment. It also considers how those relationships can enable the child to develop competence in the outside world of school, peer group and community.

The Secure Base model can be helpful, first, to think about caregiver/child interactions as having the potential to shape the thinking and feeling and ultimately the behaviour of the child.

This cycle begins with the child's needs and behaviour and then focuses on what is going on in the mind of the caregiver.

How a caregiver thinks and feels about a child's needs and behaviour will determine his or her caregiving behaviours.

The caregiver may draw on their own ideas about what children need or what makes a good parent from their own experiences or from what they have learned from training. The caregiving behaviours that result convey certain messages to the child.

The child's thinking and feeling about themselves and other people will be affected by these messages and there will be a consequent impact on his or her development. The Secure Base Model shows this in circular process form, the caregiving cycle, which shows the inter-connectedness of caregiver/child relationships, minds and behaviour, as well as their ongoing movement and change.