The intervention is helpful for parents raising biologic, foster or adoptive children of all ages:
- Includes an assessment of child interaction patterns with each parent
- Identifies how a child communicates his or her attachment needs
- Explores emotional experiences that impact development
- Provides insight to child impulses and behavior
- Illuminates the underlying causes of misbehavior
- Supports parents in applying attachment skills to moment-to-moment parenting interactions.
Parents meet with a therapist twice a week for sessions lasting approximately two hours. Sessions blend learning about attachment and development, with processing those thoughts and feelings present in all relationships. Although we request a year of service delivery, the average case closes within 8 months.
-Two initial assessments are required to ensure the service plan is tailored to each specific family. The assessments are built in to the program-
Intake Assessment: Careful planning supports successful outcomes. The Intake Assessment is a free service that is part of each referral and includes the following:
- Comprehensive review of the child's history and current circmstances
- Interviews with other service providers working with the family
- Meeting with parents to describe the service, hear their concerns, and answer their questions
- Written summary that includes an explanation of why attachment services make sense based on the child's history, how the intervention will help address the presenting problems and concerns, and the plan for implementing the service.
Child and Parent Attachment Assessment: Conducted with each parent and child, the attachment assessment informs treatment objectives and includes the following:
- Video-taped separation/reunion procedure
- Parent interviews
- Standardized measures of parent stress and child behavior
-Some parents request that the relationship with their Secure Child therapist be allowed to continue beyond the end of the year of services-
Ongoing therapy supports further integration and application of the learning and contributes to increased autonomy and self-sufficiency.
Step-Down Services may be recommended when parents have:
• Continued concerns about their child's functioning or behaviors
• Co-parenting or marital difficulties
• Life stressors that impact caregiving
Child and Adolescent Outpatient Therapy
We offer individual outpatient therapy for children and adolescents. This service is independent of the in-home therapy service and can be utilized whether or not we are working with the child’s caregivers.
Therapists can work with children between the ages of 3 and 18. For younger kids we use a variety of modalities including child-centered play therapy, sand-tray, art, music and movement. For adolescents, talk therapy may incorporate elements of art and music.
Individual Education for Foster Parents
Foster parents are often getting to know a child under challenging circumstances, with little certainty about how long the relationship will last. Education in attachment, and the link between this biologic process and the way development unfolds, provides caregivers with information that can be broadly applied to the special needs of the child in their home.
This interactive class requires 8 curriculum hours to complete, and provides a foundation in the fundamentals of attachment and human development as well as understanding how the brain learns and the ways in which new learning will follow established pathways.
The Individual Parent Education Course is ideally suited for foster parents at the start of a placement. It does not include an assessment of the parent/child relationship and is not child-specific therapy.