At bMindful Psychology, we understand the profound impact that early trauma can have on the psychological, emotional, and relational well-being of children in foster care. We firmly believe that true therapeutic care needs to be demonstrated every day by every individual involved in the lives of these young people. That's why we have dedicated ourselves to supporting foster carers and supervising social workers in recognising and understanding the lasting effects of trauma, as well as providing them with the necessary tools and strategies to support the children in their care.
Our approach goes beyond focusing solely on the children; we also prioritise the well-being and growth of the foster carers too. We acknowledge the importance of self-reflection and self-care for foster carers, as their beliefs, principles, and responses play a crucial role in nurturing and supporting the children they care for. Through our services, we create a safe space for foster carers to reflect, learn self-regulation methods, build resilience, and develop effective intervention strategies.
Research consistently demonstrates that providing comprehensive training and support to foster families significantly enhances their ability to provide stable and nurturing environments for children in care. Pecora et al. (2006) found that foster carers who received specialised training were more likely to better understand trauma, attachment, and child development, which positively influenced their caregiving practices. This increased knowledge and skill set translated into improved outcomes for the children, including reduced behavioural difficulties and enhanced emotional well-being (Pecora et al., 2006).
In addition to equipping foster carers with knowledge, training programs often focus on developing practical skills and strategies to meet the unique needs of children in care. For instance, training in trauma-informed care empowers foster carers to recognise and respond to the effects of early trauma on a child's behaviour and development. A study published by Bramlett et al. (2015) revealed that foster carers who received trauma-informed training reported feeling more confident in managing challenging behaviours and providing appropriate support to the children in their care.
Moreover, research shows that when foster families receive consistent support, they are more likely to continue fostering, leading to greater stability and continuity in the lives of the children. A recent study found that foster carers who reported higher levels of support experienced less burnout and were more satisfied with their fostering experience (Garcia et al., 2020). This, in turn, contributed to longer placement durations and improved outcomes for the children, including better school attendance and higher educational attainment (Garcia et al., 2020).
With our significant expertise in supporting looked-after children, we have developed a comprehensive range of services tailored to the unique needs of foster families. Our offerings include regular participation in consultation meetings, support and attendance at joint meetings and reviews, and the development and delivery of extensive training programs. We also provide a variety of assessments to gain a deeper understanding of the child's experiences, such as trauma assessments, resiliency scales, adverse childhood experiences assessments, and intelligence scales.
In addition to assessments and consultations, we offer one-on-one therapy sessions utilising various therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Person-Centred approaches, and Art and Creative Psychotherapies. We recognise the importance of individualised support and therapy to address the unique needs of each child.
Furthermore, we provide group and family therapy sessions to foster families, creating a supportive environment where they can connect, share experiences, and learn from one another. We also specialise in assessing and supporting neurodiverse presentations, such as autistic spectrum conditions, and offer qualified AIM3 support, assessment, and intervention for fostering families dealing with harmful sexual behaviours.
As part of our commitment to therapeutic care, we have developed the Key worker Intervention Toolkit for Therapeutic Care (KIT). This comprehensive resource is designed to support residential services, foster carers, and schools in their therapeutic work with young people. The KIT program consists of three phases and provides a structured approach to delivering high-quality therapeutic care.
At bMindful Psychology, we understand that each foster family is unique, and their needs may vary. That's why we offer flexible and customised services tailored to meet the specific requirements of the children and their foster families. Our goal is to empower foster families to provide nurturing and therapeutic care, ultimately creating strong and supportive communities for children in foster care.
To get in touch with bMindful Psychology or to find out more, visit https://www.bmindfulpsychology.co.uk/fostering.
To see more information about ‘Foster Care Fortnight 2023’ and how to get involved, visit https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/foster-care-fortnight-2023
Bramlett, R. K., Radel, L. F., & Phillips, D. A. (2015). Trauma-informed child welfare systems and services: A systematic review of measures. Adoption & Fostering, 39(4), 353-369.
Garcia, A. R., Granger, R. C., Green, J., & Kim, M. (2020). Fostering stable care: A longitudinal examination of foster parents' perceived social support, caregiver burnout, and placement duration. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(2), 527-536.
Pecora, P. J., Williams, J., Kessler, R. C., Hiripi, E., O'Brien, K., Emerson, J., & Torres, D. (2006). Assessing the educational achievements of adults who were formerly placed in family foster care. Child & Family Social Work, 11(3), 220-231.