Art Therapy

Roaches Community

Therapeutic Framework Description


Our framework highlights the approach that we aim to provide a 24 hour therapeutic placement, children are looked after and live in a placement where their individual therapeutic needs are met through the staff team and the planned environment on a daily basis. The Roaches Community has chosen to follow the path of membership with Community of communities project; Royal college of Psychiatrists to help us to continue to develop and evidence our practice as a therapeutic community.

Young peoples therapeutic needs (therapy plan) are identified and guided by qualified Psychotherapists in partnership with care and education teams. The processes in place for this include each staff member having individual staff support sessions with a qualified Psychotherapist. Here individual young people and relationships between staff and young people are discussed, staff are provided with psycho-education/reflection on individual emotional needs of children using person centred, psycho-dynamic, solution focused and behavioural approaches. Strategies are developed around how best to meet young peoples needs using daily interactions between staff and young people(‘Opportunity led’ work) and the environment. This is also a space where individual key working sessions are discussed and therapeutic key work is planned including resources, to ensure that the child's emotional/therapeutic needs are being addressed.


Qualified Psychotherapists attend team meetings on a regular basis to provide additional guidance and support to both management and staff, around community dynamics and individual needs for each child. In addition a comprehensive training programme is delivered by our psychotherapists and external specialists which cover key areas for developing practice within our community such as brain development and traumatic early experience, working with attachment difficulties and re parenting with ‘P.A.C.E’ and working therapeutically with groups.


The staff team are provided with monthly reflective sessions, where incidents/challenges are discussed and analysed to gain clear understanding. These are also facilitated by qualified Psychotherapists to provide further psychological understanding. 


1:1 therapy and group therapy in the form of art psychotherapy, psychotherapeutic counselling and person centred counselling delivered through play and creative approaches are available to children; this is the product of an assessment process which involve staff observations, as well as direct involvement from the child. This is to gauge appropriateness and need for any direct psychotherapeutic work. Due to the experiences and emotional or attachment difficulties our young people often present, they can be extremely difficult to engage in direct 1:1 therapy work. Direct therapy can only proceed if it is seen to be beneficial and appropriate for the emotional development of that child, and most of all, only if the child feels ready/able to engage in this often intense and difficult process. Individuals will only engage in change once they are able to address and understand the things they need to change. However, addressing past experiences can often be difficult. We aim to create a solution focused environment where we encourage and enable children to develop appropriate emotional skills and relationships, including feeling safe, to then be able to engage in the 1:1 therapy process.


To aid assessment and review of the children's needs, there is an assessment process in place. Therapists complete an initial therapeutic assessment of each child during the initial part of their placement soon after they arrive. This includes assessments from the staff teams, the child, and looking at past history. The child is asked to fill out a standardised psychometric assessment. We often use KIDSCREEN -27 assessment; which is a well being questionnaire, to gain their perspective of their life in 5 areas (Physical Health, Psychological health, Carer relationship and autonomy, Social support and peers, and School environment). Other standardised measures are used such as Beck Youth inventories, CRIES and EESC where appropriate to gauge baseline levels or measure change around specific issues. Young people are also provided with an assessment session with a qualified Psychotherapist where they are encouraged to discuss what they feel they need help with and also to gain an understanding of the therapeutic process. This is also an opportunity to meet the therapist and gain an understanding of the available therapeutic input they can access. This initial assessment is compiled and the therapeutic plan produced by way of initial therapeutic report for each child, this is shared with education and care team. The plan will highlight therapeutic needs of the young person, aspects of therapeutic that are indirect and/or direct work to address this need. This report aims to provide an understanding to all teams involved around our initial plan for meeting the child's emotional/therapeutic needs. The therapeutic plan is updated every 6 months, aiming to review the initial plan, often allowing a period for the child to create relationships and settle in the home. In between reports our therapeutic framework provides constant opportunities where children's progress can be discussed or reviewed and any indirect work (such as enhanced key working sessions) planned. To aid children's understanding of their own "plans" a child friendly version of their initial therapeutic report is provided to them.