Guide: Resources and Forms

Children’s Placement Support Team

The Children’s Placement Support Team is here to improve placement stability through crisis intervention and planned, time limited, therapeutic support. The team works closely to support all in-house foster carers who are looking after children and young people with complex and challenging behaviours.

For crisis intervention there needs to be a high risk of placement breakdown, high risk to safety/safeguarding, carer resilience concerns, previous placement moves, number of complex young people in placement, absconding, aggressive behaviour, Child Sexual Exploitation, substance misuse, mental health issues, self harm etc.

For planned interventions, the risks are the same but there is early identification from Placement Planning Meetings, referrals, preventative measures, and 6 week time limited therapeutic interventions from Fostering Support and/or SAC CAMHS.

Preventative interventions are achieved by building a multi-agency approach around the child or young person to provide precise and specialised support at the right time. Progress is monitored at six week review meetings, giving an opportunity to respond to difficulties and concerns.

For the child or young person, actively listening and promoting participation is essential. By enabling them to develop their emotional resilience and improve relationships with adults, they are more likely to build attachments leading to positive relationships. A reduction in multiple placements benefits the child or young person in terms of life stability in relation to changes in school; making new attachments and improving their chances of achieving independence and economic well-being.

Support

The team, alongside other colleagues, responds to the emotional, behavioural and mental health needs of our children and young people by providing intensive 1:1 intervention. This may include specialist approaches such as Mediation, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Solution Focussed Therapy, Theraplay, CSE training and therapeutic life story work.

It is important to intervene early so that negative relationships that mediate the strong association between disturbed behaviour and placement disruption can be prevented. The success of any intervention is consistency in approach with a commitment to the carer and child or young person.

Referrals

Referrals can be made via the Duty Phone Number – 01392 381491 – which is available daily (inclusive of weekends) until 10pm. A referral can also be made for a new placement based on the information within the Single Assessment and K1, with attendance from the Children’s Placement Support Team at the Placement Planning Meeting.

The focus of the support is building the relationship between the carer and child or young person for longevity of the placement and not the relationship between the support worker and the child or young person. Ongoing support will continue to be provided by the Childrens Social Worker, Fostering Supervising Social Worker and other agencies such as Education, Health & Youth Service. Fostering Support Worker Intervention no longer supports supervised contact, transport, respite, child-minding, taking children to appointments, activities etc.

Relational Strategy

An intervention seeking to address mental health and well-being should place equal focus on improving the quality of the relationship between the carer and child or young person, since this is likely to indirectly affect the child or young person’s behaviour and emotional state. We first explore, understand and respect the subjective and personal experiences of the children and young people that we care for, in order to work with the challenges and impact this has on the foster carers and the dynamics of their relationship with the child or young person.

The CPS team takes into account the behaviour, the way it’s interpreted, and the relationship within which this interpretation takes place, as well as how the improvements in behaviour translate into the improvements in the relationship. The key is responding to the behaviour in an appropriate way rather than changing the behaviour, in order to support placement stability. The benefit of this approach is the development of a stable, nurturing and responsive care of the child or young person in relation to their attachment issues.

Please contact Amanda Barrett or Charles Sumner if you have questions or require additional information about the CPS team.