What is the video about?
Children and young people looked after in residential
settings have some of the highest levels of need. It is therefore
crucial that staff have the right skills and support available to them.
This film shows how children’s homes in Northern Ireland have introduced
training in ‘therapeutic approaches’ for their residential child care
staff. The approaches help staff to have a better understanding of how
children’s experiences affect them, to consider their emotional needs
and foster resilience. It focuses on the experience of staff and young
people at the Lakewood Secure Unit.
Messages for practice
- ‘Therapeutic approaches’ can help
residential childcare staff to use a therapeutic perspective in their
day-to-day social work with children and young people
- Staff in
Northern Ireland reported that it had enhanced their practice,
particularly their relationships with young people and the consistency
of approach taken by staff.
- Young people also reported improved
relationships and a better atmosphere in the homes. In the case study
shown in the film, the young people felt that the therapeutic approaches
had helped them to talk about their feelings, and for their behaviour
to be understood.
- Implementation is helped by providing training
and supporting materials, and wider systems working in a supportive
manner, for example careful planning when a young person is first
admitted to a home
Who will find this useful?
Staff and managers working in children’s homes and
secure units, and those commissioning residential services for looked