Here at Fostering Rotherham, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to offer all our foster carers and children in care the services of our wonderful in-house Therapeutic Team. In our recent Ofsted inspection, we were described as providing “a comprehensive and impressive offer for therapeutic support [with] an intensive therapeutic intervention programme, which is preventing placement breakdown”. The aim of the Therapeutic Team is to strengthen the stability of home matches and support the emotional wellbeing of young people.
Who can access the services?
The services of the Therapeutic Team are available to all our foster carers, children and young people in care. The Therapeutic Team focuses specifically on the attachment and therapeutic needs of children who cannot live with their birth parents. What is fantastic about the service is that the whole of the looked after child’s ‘network’ (including social workers and school staff) are invited to attend meetings and reviews- this enables everyone who has a responsibility for the child to be fully involved in their therapeutic care.
What are Therapeutic Sessions?
Usually carers and their looked after children attend therapeutic sessions together - this helps to strengthen relationships and provides the children with a 'safe base’. During the sessions there is the opportunity to explore a child’s early experiences which then helps to explain the behaviours that the child is displaying. Once the behaviours are understood, carers then feel better equipped to support the child in their care.
What support is offered to RMBC Foster Carers?
As well as supporting the child, our Therapeutic Team also offers our foster carers the opportunity to upskill so that they acquire the knowledge and experience to better understand children with emotional and behavioural issues; providing foster carers with the tools and confidence to deliver therapeutic care to their looked after children in their own home.
Our Therapeutic Team provides regular training and workshops for foster carers. Workshops and training days are facilitated on specific issues, for example: understanding attachment and trauma, therapeutic parenting – reflecting on our personal skills and challenges, life story work, sibling assessments, sexual abuse, and transitions and loss.
The Therapeutic Team also offer advice on a number of topics, including:
Supporting foster carers in exploring strategies to help them remain calm during challenging situations.
Some practical pointers for parenting and behaviour management, including consideration of the PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy) model. PACE is a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and behaving that aims to make the child feel safe and loved.
Information on attachment theory and suggestions for how foster carers can help to create a safe and secure base for the children in their care. There is also a telephone and email service that our foster carers are able to access for advice and support. Support and guidance is also provided through readily available resources such as leaflets, articles, handouts and books. Catherine Boaler is the Service Manager for Fostering and Adoption at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) and proudly concludes that “the Therapeutic Team is a real cherry on top of the cake for RMBC. We have created a model that enables us to skill-up the whole network to help them better understand a child”.
If you would like to find out more about our Therapeutic Team services why not book a call back with one of our fostering team.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.