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Reflection, aspiration and growth: . enhancing quality in residential child care through external consultancy.

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    1. Reflection, aspiration and growth: enhancing quality in residential child care through external consultancy

    2. Consultation tends to focus on daily happenings from the caregivers’ viewpoint, thus enabling them to practice a form of milieu therapy with a supportive oasis in the background. The experiential focus in consultation promotes integration of thought and feeling, theory and practice; the method is equally applicable to trained and untrained staff, to beginners and veterans. Juliet Berry Daily Experience in Residential Life A Study of Children and their Care-givers 1975

    3. SIRCC’S Consultancy service • Advice • Team building • Practice and policy reviews • Investigations • Supporting organisational change • Long term consultancy to residential child care units

    4. this has made a huge difference to our traumatised young people and the fact that our teachers are being more innovative and now have an awareness from a child centred perspective around our looked after children. This has opened communication further and created partnership working as a model to build a resilience model of practice. As an authority we have had great feed back from our colleagues in both health and education, and we intend to start a practice multi agency group to focus on transition and share ideas to build resilience.

    5. Two examples • Scottish Local Authority • A Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland

    6. , consultancy has undoubtedly contributed to the overall development of the service by providing a framework for practice to be reviewed collaboratively but with an external oversight.

    7. Long term consultancy • The pain and distress of staying connected • Reflective space and making meaning • Holding the memories and expanding time • Keeping the desert in flower • Recognising patterns –group and inter group dynamics • Being an attachment figure?

    8. External consultancy has been invaluable in developing the ability of staff to reflect on the emotional impact the work has on them and use this awareness to improve the quality of work in the home. Without consultancy there is a risk of staff becoming ‘overwhelmed’ by the emotional turmoil of the work and becoming unable to provide effective support to the children they care for.

    9. Her input is always beneficial in maintaining team effectiveness. Her knowledge base, objectivity and distance from the team enable her to continue to provide quality input . The consultancy helped the team prepare action plans and to set goals and objectives. It also helped to clarify procedures and evaluate systems…… A more effective team means a better service provided to the children and young people.

    10. Therapeutic work with children demonstrating extremely complex needs cannot be successfully undertaken without robust support for staff and management alike; and in this the external consultancy provided has clearly been contributory to the overall success in providing therapeutic treatment to the children