This session helps practitioners understand the issues for young people before they come into care and how this impacts them
In this session we take an overview of the issues that affect children that may lead to them to come into the care system. We look at the child within the systems that affect them, including the family, school, community and wider society. We explore the impact of trauma and how this affects children and others and how attachment relationships are key to understanding what can go wrong and how children can be supported to recover and become resilient.
This session will help you recognise and respond to messages in children’s behaviour.
Our systems are often set up to ‘manage’ behaviour young people display, rather than helping us understand why they are behaving as they do and what their behaviour communicates. This type of approach leads to services having a knowledge gap and practitioners missing important messages within behaviour and the causes of it. The language we use becomes a barrier between adults and children. Terms like ‘complex’, ‘challenging’ or ‘risk taking’ to describe behaviour leave young people feeling misunderstood and unheard, practitioners worried and overwhelmed and services not responding to what young people need. This session helps practitioners understand messages in children’s behaviour so they can help children understand themselves.
This session explores the real-life experience of young people entering care.
When young people enter care, it can seem like the system takes a young person’s identity and gives them a new one, projecting them into a confusing world with new terminologies, leaving them with little understanding of what’s happening. Systems set up to safeguard children, can sometimes leave families in cycles of trauma and negative family dynamics. Services become overwhelmed with the increasing numbers of young people entering care and become more stretched. Children feel confused and lost in the system; parents are hurt and often frightened, whilst practitioners are under pressure to ensure all young people are safe. Families deserve to be supported, children need to make sense of what’s happening to them. This session helps us understand how best to support children under these challenging circumstances.
This session explores how we record information about young people, how this can cause stigma and how we could do this differently
We have all read information about children that only focuses on the negative things in their lives. We know this creates barriers for young people and is not helpful for the services they need. Care and education placements may reject children when they read this information, leaving social care under pressure to find adequate support for young people. Schools are frustrated, placements feel guilty they can’t help, social workers are overwhelmed, and all the while young people are unheard and misrepresented. Every child deserves to be represented authentically and to access the support they need and deserve. This session explores the impact of recording and how we can see children differently.
This session helps you support children in care in school more effectively.
It is hard when schools don’t know their children in care. When there is a lack of communication between children’s social care and school, schools don’t get adequate information or support. When behaviour management is not attachment aware and trauma informed, we deal with the behaviour rather than seeing what it communicates and dealing with the true causes. If we don’t solve the issue for the child, it may simply be moved elsewhere to be dealt with later, if at all. When this happens, we see head teachers frustrated, teachers under pressure, increasing avoidable exclusions and young people feeling rejected and unsupported. Every child deserves access to education and to learn in an environment that understands and supports them. This session explores how this aspiration can be a reality.
This session shows you how young people can transition from care into independent and meaningful lives.
Leaving care is a cliff age. When young people reach a certain age or status, overnight their support can disappear, leaving them to navigate complex and tricky systems to gain support and access to crucial services, such as education and housing. All children are classed as ‘adults’ and will have left care by 18; many leave well before this. We see a huge number of young people from care becoming homeless, not in education, unemployed and having higher levels of mental health issues than their peers. These are the young people we know about; many young people just disappear. Leaders are frustrated at the lack of provision, practitioners worry, and young people are invisible. Young people deserve to lead successful independent lives with relationships that last a lifetime; we can make a difference.
The keynote is focused on the power of relationships, highlighting what individuals can do to have a huge impact on the lives of children in the care system. This includes how to communicate with children effectively, how to see the messages in children’s behaviour and spot triggers that can often cause trauma for children and how to make a difference.
This keynote focuses on leaving care, analysing the effectiveness of approaches to supporting children to become independent. Like all of our keynotes, this one uses storytelling to share experiences of leaving care and how young people develop their own incredible strategies to sustain independent living, gain educational achievement and access employment.
How we can improve services by working with lived experience? Service delivery and design too often looks at the experience of young people as an afterthought, yet we know young people’s insights, aspirations and energy can make a huge difference to our understanding and effectiveness in improving systems. This keynote draws on our extensive experience of design and delivery to share key messages about how we can put young people at the heart of the systems that support them.