Birribi follows an overarching therapeutic framework for group living – Therapeutic Community (TC). Within this framework, social-learning, behavioural and relational interventions are coordinated through the Youth Centred Integrated Approach (YCIA) – a multi-systemic model supporting all aspects of child and adolescent development. A key aspect of the YCIA promotes wellbeing and aims to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people. Each home creates a supportive environment which becomes the ‘stable base’ for recovery and healing from past harm, losses and trauma. The care staff, or ‘coaches’ enable young people to form trusting relationships with adults, provide consistency in how they support pro-social skills development and provide consistent responses to any problematic behaviour patterns.
The Therapeutic Community framework highlights the importance of healthy attachments in safe and supportive environments. It focuses on young people being respected and valued and aims to involve young people in active planning for their own futures. It creates the sense of belonging through prioritising positive, empowering relationships and facilitating spaces where every young person’s voice is valued and heard, e.g. through community home meetings.
TCs offer an effective therapeutic approach for children with complex needs and childhood experiences of severe adversity. Alongside integrated education provision, the model also incorporates therapy planning based on models working with childhood trauma, family and other attachment relationships and social learning. Therapeutic carers are central to creating daily therapeutic relationships centred within a community ethos which enables so much of the important change for children.
A therapeutic residential care environment offers these essential therapeutic elements of care;
- Stability – providing a secure base.
- Therapeutic relationships – with ‘coaches’ – staff, who are trained and supported with an emphasis on team-working and ‘consistency’ in child-care practice.
- A family-systems approach to building positive relationships – with structured interventions to enable young people to develop pro-social skills, experience positive social interactions and to gradually form trusted and secure relationships.
- Connecting emotional needs to the therapeutic components of the residential care setting
- Understanding of developmental disabilities and specialist learning needs, to optimise learning opportunities, both within education, as well as within home/community settings.
The Therapeutic Plan (YCIA) includes building motivation, engagement and confidence in education and skills for work.
The Lead Teacher for Birribi Education brings in contributions to the Therapeutic Plan. Whether a young person is in an education placement at Birribi or in mainstream education, the Lead Teacher will help to understand the young person’s learning needs and bring learning support into residential planning.
We use the Outcome Star to measure progress and plan forwards