Team Parenting® is an evidence based framework for intervention which responds to the unique requirements of children in foster care.
It is a strengths based approach effective in the support of children with complex trauma and attachment disorder. It provides a framework that facilitates a systemic approach to stabilising a child by promoting safety, stability, recovery and resilience.
One of the fundamentals for the effective treatment of both attachment disorder and complex trauma is the establishment of a safe, consistent, secure caring environment. For children and young people who can no longer live at home, foster care often provides the most appropriate environment for the treatment of both of these complicated issues.
Tailoring the approach to meet the specific needs of the child or young person is critical rather than delivering a prescribed or clinical form of intervention that may only be focused on the symptoms of trauma and attachment disorder.
The framework clearly requires that goals for the foster placement are articulated and based upon the child or young person’s care plan. Progress is monitored and outcomes can be measured using recording tools e.g. KDA® Recording Tool.
Regular Team Parenting® Meetings focus on the phases of the framework which in turn influence the intervention. Team Parenting® Meetings are an informal space that invite reflection and insight form all those involved. They form part of the ongoing therapeutic intervention with the child/young person. The meeting also focuses on the impact the child is having on the carers, the placement and the system
The model supports the carer as the primary agent of therapeutic change and focuses on providing carers with guidance, training and advice from the professional network – tailored to meet the needs of the child. Supporting the carer requires input from a range of professions – therapy, education, childcare and social work and expects that all involved work systemically, critically reviewing their own work and its effectiveness through supervision and the Team Parenting® meeting. As the framework builds the carers resilience they in turn support the development of the child’s resilience.
There are four identified stages:
Establishing safety at all levels for a child is critical to ensuring we do not exacerbate their fear or re-traumatise them. This is done primarily by supporting the carer to understand the child’s profile, their triggers and behaviours and the child’s need to feel safe.
From a foundation of safety we can purposefully begin to establish stability in their lives, allowing for an attached relationship with a caregiver to grow
Can begin once safety and stability are secured This third stage holds much of the research literature’s attention in shifting the thinking from caregivers providing ‘bed and breakfast’ or ‘babysitting’ services to understanding the therapeutic role of caregivers, social workers, and therapists, in the recovery and healing of the child.
Teaches the child or young person to develop positive, healthy and functional methods of avoiding inappropriate behaviours. During phase four the framework builds the young person’s skills that allow them to become a resilient and functional adult when they leave care.
FFI provide a range of Team Parenting® placements to meet the needs of the children in foster care these are outlined in Fostering Services