What we do

We provide the following services for adopted or cared for children and their adoptive carers or parents.

Assessment

To ensure a thorough assessment, we consider information from the child, caregivers, other professionals as well as their school.

Our understanding of each child or young person’s presentation is based on a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment of where they have come from, the difficulties they have faced, the quality of the caregiving they have received and their current functioning, including their adaptation at school.

We gather information from numerous sources including carer, social worker, school, pediatrician and previous reports. In our interview with the child, we undertake an individual psychometric and literacy assessment because of the known risks to the educational opportunities for children who have been in the care system.

Treatment

Our clinicians are skilled in a range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions, tailored to suit your family's needs. We offer the following treatments:

•    Personalised Individual Parent Training (PIPT)
•    Individual therapy
•    Group programmes
•    Medication

Referrers have the option of accessing the interventions we recommend either locally or from other providers.

We specialise in short-term, evidenced-based interventions tailored to the needs of adopted children and their families.

Our service has received national and international recognition for the intensive parenting technique that was pioneered by us, called Personalised Individual Parent Training (PIPT). This approach is well suited for adoptive families and we have achieved notable successes with intensive, personalised parenting programmes using the PIPT (e.g., Woolgar, Bengo & Scott, 2013).

We also offer a range of evidence-based interventions, including cognitive Behavioral therapy. Our doctors will suggest the use medication if indicated.

Training

We offer professional and bespoke training for professionals from a range of different services, and directly to parents, carers and pre-adopters.

Our expertise is around attachment theory and disorders, neurobiology of maltreatment and neglect, trauma assessment and treatment, self-harm management in teenagers and a range of other specialist mental health issues that can affect looked after and adopted children.

The team provides training, supervision and accreditation in the evidence based, randomised control trial (RCT) supported fostering changes programme.

We have updated and revised this programme to an intensive weekend version especially for adoptive families, called adopting changes.

We provide pre-adoption training on the mental health risks and issues for adopted children for prospective adopters for local authority and private and voluntary adoption agencies, which provides case based discussions of the evidence around the biopsychosocial risk factors that prospective adopters wish to know more about.


Consultation

We liaise with schools to promote the best educational outcomes and appropriate statutory support for adopted and looked after children. Many of the children we see have had subtle, undiagnosed neurodevelopmental problems that can affect their learning and attainment.

We also offer consultation on specialist mental health issues for adoption and fostering to child mental health services, social care and voluntary organisations.

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