There are many different reasons why a child or young person may need to be looked after by a foster carer. Unfortunately, a large number of children and young people do not have a positive start in life and are subject to various forms of abuse and neglect that can leave them severely distressed and in need of a safe and loving home. However, with the right kind of care and support the lives of such children can be turned around for the better.
In order to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and young people we have introduced the ARC Trauma Awareness Programme to our foster carers. The ARC framework supports carers working with traumatised children and enables them to fully understand behaviour’s that is influenced by childhood abuse and neglect.
At Pride Fostering Service (a well-established fostering agency based in Luton, Bedfordshire) we are currently working with our existing foster carers to develop their ability to care for traumatised children by using the ARC model. We are also searching for new carers who want to practice fostering in a therapeutic manner to become part of our Enhanced Foster Care Service. There is a high demand for therapeutic fostering placements and therapists and counsellors are particularly well placed to meet the needs of children and young people who require enhanced placements.
Our therapeutic parenting model employs the ARC framework, which has been developed by a psychologist and social worker based in the US. The framework is currently in use in 300 child care settings worldwide and research suggests this has had a positive impact on the lives of children and young people by helping to reduce the symptoms of PTSD and improve mental health and resilience. The ARC model has been well received in the UK and a number of local authority fostering departments are also implementing the ARC model to care for traumatised children.
The three core values of the ARC model are - attachment, regulation and competency. The ability to form healthy, loving attachments and to plan for the future are all considered key to emotional and psychological wellbeing. The ARC model helps to develop a foster carers’ ability to support a child whose behaviour is influenced by a past trauma which has impacted on their current mental health. There are numerous reasons why therapeutic fostering placements are needed and these can include - children suffering from eating disorders, depression, attachment disorder and self-harm.
Our Enhanced Fostering Service provides foster carers with regular training and supervision to ensure they feel fully supported and part of our team. Enhanced foster carers are expected to attend a three days ARC training course, a monthly support group, as well as monthly 90-minute skills workshops and weekly to bi-weekly supervision with a Supervising Social Worker who is also trained in the ARC model. Additional benefits of being an enhanced foster carer include: the assistance of a family support worker, a higher fostering allowance and paid respite.
Prospective foster carers are required to have a spare bedroom at home and either be at home full-time or have limited competing demands.
If you are interested in becoming an Enhanced foster carer please call Helen Daly or Giovanni Varricchio on 01582 433775 or complete our online enquiry form at www.pridefostering.com. We look forward to hearing from you.