Support for children moving from residential care to foster care/home
In response to the diverse needs of children and young people who are involved with social services, we have developed a suite of support packages in order to support social work teams in meeting the needs of this group of children and young people.
The ARC Programme
Our ARC Programme is a bespoke, attachment-informed service for children under 12, who are struggling in foster care. The team is led by Orla Ryan & Dr Helen Gogarty; Attachment Therapist. Both hold specific university training in attachment studies. Dr Ben Grey of Cambridge Centre for Attachment also provides training to our team. Under the umbrella of the ARC, we provide short/medium term residential placements, outreach support packages and 3 day respite breaks. As per any form of intervention, early intervention is best, as the likelihood of salvaging a foster placement decreases significantly if this service is sought as the placement is approaching break-down.
The primary objective of the ARC is to provide a safe space for children who are struggling with underlying attachment-based difficulties and to intensively support these children to return to their foster family, if at all possible. Otherwise, we can provide an age-appropriate residential placement and support the child to transition from residential care to a new foster family/ or to return to their family of origin. Within our residential attachment service, we offer short/medium term residential placements for children aged 7-12.
Our teams devise cohesive plans that are evidence-based and attachment-informed, which include targeted, goal-centred recommendations, with the key aim of reducing the likelihood of foster placement breakdown or supporting a transition from residential care to foster care/home. Whilst working with children, we also work in tandem with their foster family/ family of origin, carrying out attachment-based interviews, providing psycho-education and devising individually tailored support plans. If needed, outreach and respite packages are also available to support children when they move on from The ARC. The likelihood of sustainable change is possible when this intervention is provided alongside a systemic approach which encompasses the future caregivers and teachers.
When children and their foster families need some time apart, to allow everyone to re-charge their batteries, a few days break can make a big difference. With Aspire Plus, children can enjoy 3 day fun-filled activity breaks, where they will be cared for by our team of social care workers, in the beautiful Avon Rí Lakeshore Resort, in Blessington, County Wicklow.
We also provide an outreach service to children in their foster families that responds to the challenges which they are experiencing, through an attachment-informed lens. Where needed, we provide social care staff to engage children in activities and also to provide practical support to foster parents. We pride ourselves on our ability to respond to the child and family’s needs through the provision of support plans that alleviate pressure on foster parents, support the understanding of behaviour, and promote the child’s emotional well- being.
The Together Programme – Parent Mentoring Service
Where needed, parents can avail of practical support to improve their engagement with their children. This programme is available to support parents and children in the family home or to support parents of children in care, during contact visits with their children. Our team will work together with parents in order to enhance insight in relation to children’s developmental stages, promote age-appropriate play, and support parents in order to support good quality contact and build relationships. This form of mentoring can also be provided following supervised contact visits. Our access workers can also transport children to and from visits, if needed.