At the heart of our trauma-informed, therapeutic approach is the aim that our children and young people are supported to believe that:
- The world is a safe place
- They are capable
- They are loveable and deserving of love
- Relationships with others are rewarding
- They can live a full and satisfying life
We support our foster carers to provide Therapeutic Parenting, which is the term used to describe the highly-structured and high nurturing intentional parenting that fosters the feelings of safety so that a traumatised child can begin to heal and attach.
We recognise that learning to parent therapeutically is the single most important thing you can do to help traumatised/attachment-disordered child.
All successful Therapeutic Parenting demonstrates the following key characteristics:
A focus on safety – this relates to the physical safety of everyone in the family, as well as “felt safety”. Often our traumatised children do not feel safe due to what’s happened in their past.
A care balance of High Structure and High Nurture.
Attuned parenting – therapeutic parents look under the behaviours to what the child is communicating. Being playful, curious, and trying to attune to your child are all connected strategies.
Intentional Parenting – being purposeful about what you do and knowing why you are using a specific tool or strategy. Being intentional means having a plan in place and makes it easier to respond to your child and not react to behaviours.
Keeping a long-term perspective and practicing self-care, as children often don’t heal quickly. Therapeutic parents have to be committed to this intense parenting for a long time, and that requires us finding ways to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually so that we have the energy to give to our children.