We’re delighted to tell you about our brand new service; a Therapeutic Community (home) for children in Dundrod, a rural setting about 15 mins from Belfast. The house is surrounded by 5 acres of lovely fields and woods.
The children will be aged between 6-12 and have complex needs which cannot be met in mainstream children’s homes or foster care.
This is an exciting opportunity for MACS to introduce something brand new and ground-breaking in Northern Ireland. We have completed extensive research into the needs of these children, which took into account the views of young people who have been through the care system and from professionals working in the field.
Sensory processing/trauma and attachment theories will underpin all interventions with the children. Activities will be core to the life of the house and for each child. Staff will be the main link with statutory partners, education / schools, doctors, youth clubs etc, mirroring what happens in any ordinary household.
The staff team will be multi–disciplinary drawing on skills from social work, teaching, occupational health and psychology.
They will be skilled and experienced in areas of personal resilience, showing love and compassion, holding firm on routines and rituals, self-reflection, use of self, self-management and understanding personality types within a team.
There will be no cooks or cleaners – as living in any family home the team will be expected to run the house involving the children where applicable.
In order to emulate a family environment and to provide vital consistency, caring and safety, a staffing model based on longer hours will be essential and will consist of:
- 6 house parents
- 4 activity workers
- part time clinical psychologist
We will provide a home life for children that is compassionate and kind, underpinned by a clear therapeutic approach, so that children can self-regulate and enjoy life to its fullest.
That children are ready to experience regular family life.
- Provide a therapeutic community for children aged 6-12 years’ old who cannot live in mainstream foster care or residential settings.
- To ensure that all children are cared for and supported holistically so that their emotional, social, developmental and educational needs are met.
- Development of relevant and innovative community connections so that children have a range of opportunities for growth and development.
- That children develop skills and techniques unique to them to self-regulate from a place of high arousal through the ‘just right state’ programme.
- Children can participate in day to day normal family routines and rituals.
- To make the absolute best efforts to ensure children are confident, assured and can thrive in attaining mainstream educational goals.
- That children are socially able to balance rights and responsibilities appropriate to their age and develop empathic relationships.
- That children will enjoy a wide range of activities and sense of achievement through play with purpose and a ‘being with’ focus from workers (underpinned by a social pedagogic approach).