Looked After Children 0-4 age group

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Looked After Children 0-4 age group

Post by oldlady » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:19 pm

I am a trainee clinical psychologist on placement in a Looked After Children Service. We are currently thinking about how we provide for children and babies aged 0-4. Although we are commissioned for children aged 0-18, we rarely get referrals for this age group (apart from when the children form a family group where there are older children) - it would be really helpful to understand how other similar services have addressed the needs of this age group of children.

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Re: Looked After Children 0-4 age group

Post by BlueCat » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:32 pm

We proactively engage with the foster care s at the point of placement and provide a couple of sessions around secure base, and linking that child's specific experience of care to the adaptations to common sense parenting required. E.g. It isn't good that they "will go happily to anybody because.....", sensory stuff, developmental nerds etx.
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Re: Looked After Children 0-4 age group

Post by Jac79 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:27 am

I generally just work through the substitute parents at this stage helping them to consider therapeutic parenting that supports the child's attachment. I help them to consider the impact of the child trauma/disrupted attachment. 'Brain based parenting' by Jon Baylor and Dan Hughes is a good place to start. Mindfulness for carers can also be very useful for reducing stress. Be aware of the concept of both blocked care and blocked trust (Baylin and Hughes) and support adopter/foster cater to be self aware.

If you feel that you really need to work directly with children at this age I find Theraplay probably the most age appropriate intervention but you need training and supervision to use it effectively. Thinking about sensory issues is also helpful and I recommend the work of Sarah Lloyd (OT). I would be cautious about direct work if the placement is not permanent.

I would however not under-estimate the power of good support for substitute parents and often I find that is all that is needed with younger children. It is important to keep carers healthy and to see their children's behaviour through a trauma and attachment lense. I find Dan Hughes PACE model very helpful, again training in his model (DDP) is more useful than just reading his books and although in it's infancy in terms of evidence base (this is growing fast) it is a well regarded model in this client group, although mostly used in adoption. Also see the work of Kim Golding.

I would be interested to know what you find most helpful. Good luck.

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