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Successful first CPD Event -Ensuring children and young people who are looked after recover from the impacts of trauma, abuse, and neglect.

Five Rivers Child Care recently held their first-ever event offering continuous professional development. The online event, titled ‘Ensuring children and young people who are looked after recover from the impacts of trauma, abuse and neglect’, was attended by social work professionals from 10 Local Authorities, and covered:

  • The active ingredients in our integrated care approach called ATIC (Attachment and Trauma-Informed Care).
  • How to ensure a successful recovery from trauma.
  • The components of our approach.
  • Outcomes that we’ve seen from implementing the approach.

The closed group session was hosted by our Head of Assessment and Therapy, Richard Cross, who presented research findings, and facilitated engaging discussions on the topic. Richard, alongside our Head of Residential Services, Sarah Stefano, and Head of Education, James Hall, shared information about our work to turn children’s lives around through our integrated approach.

Outcomes from the ATIC model include improved long-term wellbeing and mental health, ability to have sustaining and nourishing relationships, improvements across all areas of the child’s life, e.g., education, successful transition to foster care, significant savings over care journey costs, and being able to reclaim childhoods.

ATIC is an organisation-wide model, with staff practicing a complementary, transparent, empowering, and collaborative approach at all levels, with training offered to all staff to ensure consistency. Our clear and structured methodology supports staff members within our organisation to facilitate and maintain an environment that restores the level of consistency needed in an optimal relationally based practice for reversing the impacts of trauma, abuse, and neglect. During the session, Richard shared our two pathways (one for children and the other for our staff and carers, in which these elements are embedded.

The ATIC Model was piloted at Fountain House, Leeds. Fountain House has been consistently rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted since the implementation of the model. In Fountain House’s most recent Ofsted inspection in March 2020, the report stated “there is excellent insight into the underlying causes of children’s presentation and behaviours. Carers do not use sanctions to address negative behaviours and instead ‘natural consequences’ are used. This is based on restorative ways to support children to reflect and learn from their behaviour without making them feel shame. This is effective, and children are able to recognise the impact of their behaviours on themselves and others and supports them to make more positive choices.”

The event was well received by attendees, with one commenting:

“Looking at children’s needs in placements from the carers’ perspective made a lot of difference to my perspective as we tend to focus on children’s behaviours when placements are breaking down and simply move the child on.  Working in a placement team, I now feel more confident to explore issues in a placement with this renewed understanding that both children and carers’ behaviour can equally contribute to the placement breakdown and hence the need for a balanced approach that does not focus on the child as the problem that needs fixing.”

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