A new tool has been developed to help social care professionals work with, and understand, children with complex emotional and behavioural needs.
Bearing the Unbearable, a feature-length DVD and a written training manual, is the result of a four-year research project – the brainchild of Christine Bradley, a consultant and trainer in therapeutic childcare.
It features expert contributions from leading figures in the sector, including Jonathan Stanley, former manager of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC) and Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network.
“Forget Every Child Matters,” Bradley said, “what professionals and policy-makers need to realise is that some children do not feel or believe that they have emotionally ‘begun’ and have no secure sense of who they are and to whom they belong.”
“These children and young people appear unable to relate to the outside world without becoming overwhelmed with unbearable anxiety, panic and rage”
“If we are to become more successful in achieving good outcomes we have to help children to feel stronger and more real in their experiences of living and being,” she said.
The DVD features interviews with experts across the sector, including fostering and adoption; residential care; mental health; social work and education. The film and manual address key issues, including why it is that some children are able to use the experiences offered to them, while others cannot.
Patrick Webb OBE, a consultant in special educational needs and executive director of the Charterhouse Group of therapeutic communities, said Bearing the Unbearable is a “valuable contribution to the body of work being done with looked-after children and young people.”
Webb said the tool, which is expected to be finished in the next couple of months, will present a “great opportunity” to influence politicians at the next parliament by “confronting them with the issues that they so often fail to understand when working with troubled children and families”.