Attachment, Relationship, Connection (ARC) Fostering Team.
What we do...
Our primary focus is to offer a wraparound package of support to our long term and link carers who are caring for children stepping forward from residential care. This is to help build a positive and robust relationship between both sets of carers and the child in recognition that our carers are key individuals in supporting children to recover from developmental trauma. This support to the carers can be bolstered further by the team working directly with the child, the child’s birth family where appropriate and their school in order to promote consistent approaches in line with therapeutic care.
The team’s approach is informed by attachment and trauma theories. We recognise relationships are the most crucial part of recovery from developmental trauma for our children and this therefore underpins our work. We aim to deliver this approach using the extended fostering family model which empowers our families to work together to support one another to care for the children they have living with them. The extended family model also recognises the importance using community links and resources to further support our children and fostering families.
Whilst the team remains a branch of fostering, we have integrated more closely with our Emotional Health and Wellbeing Team (EHW) whose work is informed by the same approach and theories. Through working hand in hand, we aim to help promote and further embed trauma informed thinking for the children and fostering families we support.
A breakdown of what we can offer...
By working hand in hand with the EHW team we can offer multiagency consultation and Psychological formulation for the young people we are working with. The purpose of the team consultations is to develop a cohesive therapeutic network of people around the child.
Direct, ongoing support to foster carers which recognises their own current needs and feelings alongside helping them to understand therapeutic parenting and how this supports the needs of the children they are caring for. This can delivered through working in partnership with the EHWT and though offering a regular foster carer support group. We also hope regular support groups will strengthen foster carers links with one another therefore supporting increased placement stability outcomes.
Direct work with the child/young person where it is recognised, they would benefit from support which may including building up their social skills, emotional language or linking them in with their local community resources. This work would be undertaken by our SSWA who would spend time with the child on regular basis either within community settings, within school or within the home.
Through close partnership working with our learning mentors in the virtual school, we can identify support to child and/or the teaching professionals surrounding the child within their educational setting.
For our step forward foster carers who are supervised by the SSW in our team, we are able to offer them a higher frequency of supervision/support visits in recognition of the complexities of the young person they are caring for.
Where appropriate, we will be able to offer direct work with children’s birth family members which focuses on supporting the relationship between them and their child.