On the 10th October, World Mental Health Day was observed globally – a day recognised by the World Health Organisation each year. This year’s theme was ‘Mental Health in An Unequal World’ and for us here at Mosaic Fostering In Essex, there has never been a more relevant theme for the world of looked-after care.
While not every child in care will suffer from mental health issues, there are many who will – usually as a result of trauma they’ve experienced from past relationships. That’s why access to therapists and mental healthcare is extremely important in fostering.
Here at Mosaic Foster Care, supporting the mental health of our families is at the centre of everything we do. Whether it’s weekly reflective groups with our foster parents and staff or a tailored therapy programme, we are proud to be one of the top fostering agencies in Essex when it comes to providing mental health support.
Therapeutic SMILE Model
Over the past ten years, our team have been developing a unique therapeutic model with the assistance of our in-house therapists and social workers. Simply described as the ‘SMILE’ model, this approach is used by our foster parents to deliver therapeutic parenting.
- S is for Safety – For those children who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), the feeling of safety is extremely important. Knowing this, our team make sure to hold extensive forums at least every three months. Alongside our social workers and therapists, important professionals such as teachers or health workers are also invited to ensure the child is safe.
- M is for Multi-Skilled Team – We know that it takes a lot of people to ensure each child is cared for in the best way possible. That’s why the team here at Mosaic Fostering Essex has grown significantly in the past ten years. We have a range of trusted team members with different skills and qualifications who work together to support our families. This includes social workers, child support workers and in-house therapists.
- I is for Intentional – Our team understand that developing a connection with a child is fundamental to provoke change. Therefore, once the team is connected with the child, we establish intentional parenting strategies which are designed by our social workers and therapists. These are crafted specially for the child and make it easier for parents to respond and interact with them.
- L is for Long-Term – Here at Mosaic Foster Care, we focus on only long-term therapeutic placements. This is because we know that children who have experienced trauma need a secure base over an extended period of time to recover from their experiences.
- E is for Environment - Foster children often operate from a fear-based view and therefore, they can find it difficult to trust any caregivers. As a result, an environment with high structure and consistent boundaries delivered by nurturing yet firm parents are essential. With a structure so predictable, a child is able to depend on it and feel safe.
Access to Therapy
Unlike most fostering agencies in Essex, we have a team of therapists who regularly work one-on-one with a child and their foster family. By working closely with everyone in the child’s life, we are able to truly understand the child’s background and past experiences. Therefore, the team understands how their development has been affected and what can be done to help them.
Weekly Reflective Groups
Each week our staff and foster parents have access to a weekly reflective group hosted by our in-house therapists. This is a time where our team can take to time to share any challenges they’re having or even any milestones they have achieved. We find this is beneficial for everyone on the team as it allows them to seek support and guidance from other like-minded people.
Are you interested in knowing more about how we support our foster parent’s mental health here at Mosaic?
Give us a call on 07723 117928 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information.
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