|Therapeutic Services||Advocacy for Young People||Complex Needs Care||Placement|
Stepping Stones Care works extensively with NHS child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and specializes in working with young people in care who present with complex emotional and behavioural difficulties.
We have access to a range of consultant therapeutic services and a tailored package of therapeutic input is developed at the start of a young person's placement. This is developed in close liaison with the registered manager to ensure it meets the demands of their particular needs.
Our consultant therapist service includes:
- Regular consultation workshops with the care team focusing on the young person's therapeutic needs and management
- Therapeutic assessment of the young person - of mental health, IQ, learning disability, educational needs, risk to self and others, offending behaviour, developmental disorders and personality
- Weekly individual therapy for the young person (including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, EMDR, Solution-Focused Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy)
- Family therapy if appropriate
- Attendance at relevant professionals meetings
- Assessment, progress and discharge reports are made available to the unit manager and social worker
Ensuring Young People have a Voice
Where a young person has experienced difficulties in their relationships and upbringing, it can often be very difficult to have the skills and confidence to ensure that their views are expressed and heard. This is especially important when you consider that decisions about how and where to provide care are often made by professionals, working as part of the looked after system and therefore the balance of power often works against the young person.
At Stepping Stones Care we think that it is vitally important that young people have the opportunities to express their views and also to have independent support available when they disagree with a decision or have other complaints.
To this end, Stepping Stones Care will liaise with the young persons/placing authorities, choice of independent advocate service so that the young people have a voice to discuss the issues which are important to them.
All young people at Stepping Stones Care will have access to an independent advocate who will be able to visit our home to raise awareness of their services. Independent Advocates give advice and guidance on a range of subjects and help young people present their views where they have specific issues or concerns.
The model of Highfield House is designed for young people with very specific needs who require care in a private environment. On admission all young people receive a 28 day assessment which determines their individualised care plan and specific therapeutic needs.
Each young person receives individual home-based tuition until a time when they are ready to enter a more formal school environment.
At Highfield House we are registered for up to 4 young people at any one time. Their purpose is to offer a place of social interaction to young people who are unable to be placed in a group situation. This is helpful to those who may be easily affected by peer pressure or those who find a large communal environment intimidating.
Living in a home with another young person can offer a 'step down' placement for those who have previously been in complex needs care. It can also benefit a young person by encouraging communication and tolerance helping them to see things from another perspective. A placement at Highfield House offers young people specialised care whilst they begin to learn the process of socializing with others.
Our resilience-led approach offers young people the opportunity to reflect on their past behaviours and to build positively for their future. Therapeutically we concentrate on the foundations of social and emotional health and believe that social interaction is an important part of developing a healthy level of self-esteem.
At Highfield House each young person receives individual home based tuition and will have access to mainstream education or a specialised EBD provision.
"Placement Stability is not just about meeting a target - it's about letting a young person know that they belong and that someone cares."
At Highfield House, the young people we work with have often experienced multiple placement breakdowns, and therefore multiple experiences of rejection which only serves to compound their existing therapeutic need. We recognise the importance of placement stability, to help give a base from which the young person can feel safe enough to explore their issues.
Whilst we accept that Local Authorities have targets to aim for, minimising the number of placements that a young person has, and whilst these can only encourage better practice, the young people we care for are often experts at "breaking" placement. We understand the underlying emotional needs that lead to this type of behaviour and our highly trained staff are resilient and able to provide the initial emotional and physical containment necessary for trusting relationships to emerge.
We have a Principle of Non Exclusion which means that our starting point is always to thoroughly plan a young persons admission preparing for the testing behaviours, keep flexible resources around the placement to respond as needs change and remain open and creative in thinking about solutions. We have a wide range of placement options and discussion and agreement with Placing Authorities means that this is very rare that we are not able to change the placement around the presenting needs and risks.