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Trauma & Attachment informed practice

Trauma & Attachment informed practice for children in residential & foster care
Presentation by Richard Cross
Community Care Live (May 2014)


Five Rivers Child Care attended Community Care and gave a talk on Trauma and Attachment informed practice for children in residential and foster care. It was felt to be so helpful that it was repeated in the afternoon and generated many questions from practitioners.

When a child has been abused and neglected they have often suffered physical trauma directly or by witnessing it with others and we now know that this impedes their physiological development and their brain capacity – they suffer emotional and physical developmental delays and have problems with learning.

Foster carers and residential staff at Five Rivers are being trained on an ongoing basis as research informs our practice, to help work with the traumatised child. In addition a child will often have problems with poor attachment, the two making each other worse. Our work helps us identify the types of help a child needs while they are in placement and gives us ‘every day’ ways of working – even by the non-professional therapist.

This being part of the professional therapeutic team is what helps Five Rivers get results for the children they care for. It is part of what makes our carers commit to above and beyond what many will do.

Five Rivers challenges the local authorities to make commitments to their children’s placements to allow sufficient time to work with the children and make a real difference.

Where there are good partnership relationships this has really benefited the children in their residential and fostering placements. We have excellent successes in placements lasting well despite being sorely tested.

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