The REACH approach is more than just a training programme, it is a whole approach to childcare. The aim is to be optimistic and to assist those entering fostering or Residential work, that change is possible.
It emphasises the immense importance of building trusting relationships with children/young people as being at the heart of childcare. This ethos is now embed across all of our services with Compass Community and is the foundation of our entire training programme.
Compass aim to support carer’s strengths to develop into resilient carers. Looked after children and young people need carers who have the capacity to care and nurture a child even when they are hostile and rejecting. This can be described as ‘stickability’ and a determination not to give up.
The process of changing the mind and behaviour of a child begins in the mind of the caregiver. Carers need to be open to learning and developing throughout their career. They need to be able to reflect upon and understand their own drivers/expectations. They need to understand how attachments are formed and how to make use of solution focused tools and approaches emanating from positive psychology.
We hope to develop carer’s ability to accept the child as they are. Many looked after children and young people suffer with low self-esteem and a major part of a carer’s role is to build the child’s self-esteem and provide creative opportunities for the child to “accept” and like themselves.
It is vital that carers can empathise with child/young person’s feelings. They need to be able to accept process and understand their own feelings and then be able to reflect/manage and positively respond to the child/ young person’s feelings and behaviour. To support this, consultations are available for carers with Compass’s consulting psychologist.
All involved with the child/young person must adopt a holistic approach. It is essential to provide the child with a sense of belonging to the carer’s family, to their own birth family and wider social and community network. The sense of belonging and permanence will help support child/young person to accept who they are.
The REACH Training Programme
Introduction to Mental Health and Wellbeing
Attachment and Trauma
Autism and ADHD
Stress, depression and anxiety
Positive psychology and resilience building
Using tools of mindfulness