Starting school – managing change
We hope you have had a great summer holiday with your family. With the holidays coming to a close soon, we’ve consulted with our Education Specialist again, to give you some advice and tips on how to manage the transition back to school. This is particularly important for those starting primary school and those moving up from primary to secondary school.
For most children, and even more for adopted or looked after children, the prospect of doing something new and different can be perceived as scary. For children and young people with a history of early loss or trauma any transition experienced may be frightening. They are likely to feel stressed and anxious about the prospect of returning to a familiar school or a new one as both of these events involve change and uncertainty. Going back to school may trigger feelings of insecurity and worry. In your role as parent or primary carer, it’s important to understand that your child may be feeling stressed and how it’s affecting them, and recognise the emotions which they may communicate through their behaviour or how they present.
New directions for adoption support
At Family Futures we are constantly developing and refining adoption support to families. In the past year we have made two new enhancements to our family support and therapy service.
- Therapeutic family support
We are conscious that one of the short comings of “therapy” is that sometimes what is therapy stays in the therapy room. What is therapeutic is what parents do with their children day in and day out. In order for parents to feel supported in taking what they have learned from the therapy sessions into their home we have employed the first of what we hope will be several Therapeutic Support workers. Their role is and will be to go into the home and support parents in the day to day routines of caring for children and to support the parent in their developmental re-parenting approach. Many parents have said to us what they really value is practical help and practical suggestions as to what to do when their children’s behaviour becomes challenging. We know already from parents that having a therapeutic family support worker working alongside them in the home has been really effective and supportive. Our first Therapeutic Support Worker is Mocushla O’Shea.
- RAPA Project Worker (Resourcing adopted people in adolescence)
This project funded by BBC Children in need fund was designed to provide support to young people making the transition from school to work or college. We know this can be a difficult time for them and it is often difficult for parents to help their teenagers through this transition. We therefore have employed a young teacher whose job it is to get alongside and mentor young people in an informal but focused way. We have been very fortunate in recruiting Alex Soteriades as the project worker.
An inside look at The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy
Family Futures’ registered manager Alan Burnell offers a taster of Dr Jonathan Baylin and Dr Dan Hughes’ new collaboration – The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy
This a seminal piece of writing. Jonathan and Dan do what others haven’t done previously, they focus on the developmental needs of children, and highlight therapeutic approaches that are appropriate to those needs. Their theoretical framework is based on research in the field of Neuro-biology.
Jonathan and Dan map out the developmental trajectory of traumatised children and how the brain works, and provide evidence of what works to treat mental health issues in children. When Family Futures was first set up, we wanted to develop a needs led approach, using therapeutic interventions to treat stress and trauma. But there was no real evidence out there to support our thinking. Dan and Jonathan help to provide just that with their new book.
I thoroughly recommend that all professionals working with children read this book. This can be used in nurseries and schools and help to influence wider child policy. It really is a psychological phenomena in child development.
Jonathan and Dan will be speaking about the content of their new book at the Family Futures Annual Conference on 17 and 18 October in London. As part of ticket sales, we are working with W.W. Norton and Company Ltd to offer a 30% discount on copies of the Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy, for professionals working with children.