Benji* is in Grade 3. His favourite animal is a tie between sloths and dogs. He loves his Mum’s apricot chicken, playing with Lego and watching Harry Potter movies.
When he’s finished school, he wants to either be a YouTuber or a vet.
But Benji wasn’t thinking about his future much a year ago. Both his parents grew up as wards of the state after experiencing abuse at home. Benji’s lived in 11 different places, been to 4 schools and has been scared of his dad for as long as he can remember.
Continue reading “Resolving unprocessed family violence trauma with butterfly hugs”
Residential care is not somewhere kids should have to live.
All children deserve a safe home with adults who care about them. Unfortunately, there are lots of kids who end up living in residential care with paid carers rostered to come into the unit and look after them.
However, for one 11-year-old that we’ve been working with, it’s been a positive place for him to live… temporarily.
Continue reading “Rupture, repair & building resilience in residential care”
Berry Street’s Take Two program has recently had an article published on the CFCA information exchange on the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) website.
The article explains how and why children who have experienced trauma may find it more difficult to regulate their emotions and behaviours than other children.
Practice Development and Training Team Leader Clare Ryan explains how Take Two uses the Regulate–Relate–Reason framework in its clinical work to assist children to calm their bodies and emotions. The framework is a core element of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) approach developed by Dr Bruce Perry in the United States.
Continue reading “Sensory strategies for calming the body and mind”
Communities around the world are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. And for anyone who has suffered trauma or lives with anxiety normally, it’s an even more difficult time.
For families with children – especially children who are in out-of-home care – spending weeks at home without any school or other group activities will likely be pretty tough at times.
Over the coming weeks, Berry Street’s Take Two service will be providing resources to help families with children who have experienced developmental trauma to support and manage their wellbeing.
Continue reading “Caring for children in out-of-home care during the COVID-19 outbreak”
Cal Farley’s is a one of a kind service. It is one of America’s largest privately-funded child and family service providers, specializing in both residential and community-based services at no cost to the families of children in their care.
Cal Farley’s operates like a small town – hosting a chapel, fire station, its own bank, post office and independent school district, activity centre etc. Many of the staff live on site, and at capacity, Cal’s can have up to 260 children and young people at a time. Residential homes are staffed by 2 sets of house-parents, the lead house-parents and relief house-parents.
Neurodevelopmentally informed interventions/activities include:
- Individual Therapy
- Play Therapy
- Art Therapy
- AAT – largely equine based including colt and filly training and Rhythmic Riding
- Adventure Therapies – Ropes Courses, Kayaking, Trail Rides, Challenge course
- Computer Lab
- Robot and other electronics programs
- Rodeo skills
- Agriculture workshop
- Mentoring of younger children by older children
- Capacity for vocational training and part time employment
All this is embedded in a community where relationships serve as the key to success. I had to remind myself that this was a service for children and young people who had mental health, emotional and behavioural problems, because often what I saw seemed just like any ordinary community. The importance of relationships whereby the kids were positively supported, contained and nurtured by multiple adults in their daily experiences was evident in the way the children and young people conducted themselves in the community. I’m not saying that there were no challenges, but on the whole the adults in this community do a wonderful job of creating a relationally rich environment filled with amazing activities, “interventions” and opportunities.
If you work in the child and welfare sector and ever find yourself in Amarillo Texas – look Cal Farley’s up and see if you can visit – it’s nothing short of impressive and it’s folk are just downright good people who are absolutely and only in this for the best outcomes for kids.
Read more about Sandhill Child Development Center here, at Chelle Taylor’s blog My Creswick Fellowship Tour.
Edited version of a post written by: Michelle (Chelle) Taylor, Clinical Psychologist and NMT Consultant, Take Two Program