What becomes of the open-hearted: Supporting resilience in children’s homes staff

Margaret Davies, Trainer and Consultant at Children’s Homes Quality, explains importance of supporting resilience in children’s homes staff.

Social Work Today, 03/06/21

Children in care need staff who can connect with them open-heartedly, yet the experience of working in the residential sector is often personally intense and challenging. Staff are commonly at risk of experiencing ‘secondary trauma’ or ‘moral distress’ which will lead to protective responses and blocked care if we do not have well-developed programs of staff support.

As we know, children who can’t live with their families, who may have been abused and neglected, need warm, open-hearted carers, who can form meaningful, loving relationships with them, and stick with them, in order to recover from their trauma and thrive. ‘Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.’(Perry, 2006)

In my work on Trauma Informed Care, I propose that children’s homes staff need 3 solid foundations to be effective:

What becomes of the open-hearted: Supporting resilience in children’s homes staff
  1. Understanding of the impact of early experiences on a child’s interpersonal neurobiological development.
  2. Strategies that work for relating and responding to children.
  3. A well-developed programme of staff support and self-care

Read on to consider why “we need to invest in the staff we have, grow their capacity and resource them to stick with the children and the home”.

Source Social Work Today: https://www.socialworktoday.co.uk/News/What-becomes-of-the-open-hearted%3A-Supporting-resilience-in-children%E2%80%99s-homes-staff

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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