Fostering Good Relationships: Partnership Work in Therapy with Looked After and Adopted Children

Author(s) : Miriam Richardson, Author(s) : Fiona Peacock, Author(s) : Geoff Brown, Author(s) : Tracey Fuller, Author(s) : Tanya Smart, Author(s) : Jo Williams

Part of The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy Series - more in this series

Fostering Good Relationships: Partnership Work in Therapy with Looked After and Adopted Children

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : January 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 190
  • Category :
    Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Catalogue No : 35449
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782201519
  • ISBN 10 : 1782201513
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This book explores the importance of effective multi-agency and multi-disciplinary partnership work for the mental health of children and young people in care and adoption. It takes an overall systemic perspective, but the co-authors contribute different theoretical approaches. It focuses on practice, showing how practitioners can draw on their varied theoretical approaches to enhance the way they work together and in partnership with carers and with professionals from other agencies.

The book provides a context that looks at the needs of children and young people in the care and adoption systems, the overall importance for their mental health of joined up ‘corporate parenting’, and national and local approaches to this. It then moves to focus on practical ways of working therapeutically in partnership with others who contribute diverse skills and perspectives, using specific case examples. Additional chapters look at collaborative ways of working with key carers to enhance their therapeutic role. Finally, some of the main elements of partnership collaboration are explored, as well as the challenges of work across agencies and disciplines.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This is a beautiful book. Rich in case studies and accessible reflections on practice, it is optimistic and sobering. It speaks with eloquence about trauma and change, about hope and restoring humanity to our services for children and young people, and about how all of us who live and work with families must strive to understand the meaning of behaviour. This book inspires with how it holds children, young people and their professional and parent networks in mind but it also demands that we all reflect on whether we are really, honestly being the best that we can be with and for our future generations.’
- Professor Michael Preston-Shoot, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, University of Bedfordshire

‘This book is a gem – a clarion call to practice! We all know of the terrible system failures around our children in care and what needs to happen to prevent such failures in the future. Well, this book shows us how to do it. Written with compassion and based in research that listens to what children need, the co-authors advocate a systemic and fully inclusive approach to partnership work and insist that all parts of the care system need to work together. This book should be required reading for everyone involved in the care system.’
- Arlene Vetere, Professor of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, Norway

‘To survive and prosper, human beings have developed exquisite strategies to adapt, learn, cooperate and communicate. For some children, they have had to adapt to the worst of possible circumstances because of abuse and neglect. With the child at the centre, this collection explores the place that systems, partnerships and relationships play in rebuilding a more hopeful future. It is a must-read at this time of major change.’
- John Simmonds OBE, Director of Policy, Research and Development, CoramBAAF

‘All those within and between the fields of social work and systemic practice will appreciate this book. It brings together some thoughtful ways of engaging in multi-disciplinary work that creates a coherent approach to working directly with looked after children, their professional system and other interested parties that surround them. This book is very timely as it coincides with a number of serious case reviews and research papers that repeatedly highlight the need for collaborative partnership working and placing looked after children at the heart of decision making.’
- Dr Barbara McKay BA (Hons), MSc, CQSW, MSc, MA, DPsych. Director of the Institute of Family Therapy

‘The contributors to this book show a profound understanding of the implications for all involved once a decision is made for a child to be cared for or parented outside the birth family. The book’s theme of partnership also acknowledges the power differentials between different people surrounding a child who is in care or adopted. The needs of children are central to the book, and the moving clinical examples of different aspects of the work make this a very welcome book for all systemic practitioners.’
- Sara Barratt, Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist and Team Manager, Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care Team, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust

About the Author(s)

Miriam Richardson is a Systemic Psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer. She worked with the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) from 1999 to 2008, initially in a Community Psychotherapy Project, and then as Lead Clinician with a specialist Children Looked After Service. Since leaving CAMHS she has developed an independent practice to include work with Looked After and Adopted children and other young people. She has tutored on the MSc programme in Systemic Therapy at the University of Bedfordshire, and the Institute of Family Therapy’s Agency Based Training programme for social workers, inter alia.

Fiona Peacock is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor, Certified Theraplay® Therapist and Trainer. She is also in training as a Theraplay Supervisor. For twenty years she has worked as a counsellor in various educational settings and in CAMHS. Currently she teaches at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, and runs a private practice providing a generic school counselling service and delivering a highly specialist service for Looked After and Adopted Children. The highly specialist work is usually commissioned by Local Authorities and often delivered in educational settings.

Geoff Brown began working in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the 1980s, taking a special interest in the assessment and treatment of young people with mental health problems arising in the context of childhood abuse trauma. Initially influenced by the ideas of Donald Winnicott, he trained as a psychoanalyst (Jungian) before becoming Consultant in Adolescent Psychiatry at Simmons House, an adolescent inpatient unit linked to University College Hospital, London. In 1995 he moved to St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton and took a leading role in the development of the Adolescent Service there, applying his experience of treating young people in a therapeutic milieu to the care and treatment of adolescents in a secure setting. For the past seven years he has worked in a small team providing an in-reach mental health service at a local authority secure children’s home.

Tracey Fuller is a UKCP registered Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counsellor. She has many years of experience of working therapeutically with children; including working with a Looked After Children's Service, working with the NSPCC and working as a school counsellor in numerous primary and secondary schools. Tracey has taught on the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling courses at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education since 2007. She is currently studying for a PhD at Sussex University exploring ethical approaches to sharing young people’s information in school counselling settings. Tracey’s first career was as a Key Stage 2 teacher.

Tanya Smart has been a UKCP registered Family/Systemic Psychotherapist since 1997. In CAMHS since 2005, she has worked as a Highly Specialised Family/Systemic Psychotherapist, with children, young people and their families/carers and professional networks, as well as in private practice. She also works for the Family Eating Disorder Service providing systemic psychotherapy for young people with a restrictive eating disorder and their families. Since 2010 she has co-led an AFT accredited Family Interventions training run jointly by Surrey University and the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust. She worked previously as a systemic psychotherapist in London schools, as a consultant to child protection teams, practiced in adult mental health, and delivered workshops for professionals with Tracey Fuller (Pegasus Therapeutic Training). She is a qualified systemic supervisor and chair of the Sussex Association of Family Therapy.

Jo Williams attained the Diploma in Social Work in 2006, the Post-Qualifying Childcare Award in Social Work in 2007, and Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Studies in 2008, and is currently undertaking an MA in Social Work Leadership and Management. She has twenty-two years experience of working with children and vulnerable adults, initially in residential settings and as a qualified social worker and manager within local authority statutory services since 2005. Jo's role within Children's Services has been to provide services to adoptive families, children placed with Special Guardians, Looked After children and children with disabilities. Multi-agency working has been a key driver for Jo in supporting children and their families to achieve good outcomes, along with an interest in facilitating attachment in permanent placements.

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