Welcome to Placement Support

Placement Support is a multi-disciplinary team combining specialists with wide experience of working and living with vulnerable children and families. Our expertise includes psychotherapy, social-work, and education, with particular focus on the way children and those who care for them live together.

Placement Support works with families, schools, children's homes, and foster families to promote sustaining relationships between children and the adults involved in their lives. We are also an Ofsted registered Adoption Support Agency. We have particular expertise to help make sense of the ways that early adverse experience can make it difficult for children to get on with their lives in the present.

This sense-making improves relationships. Our aim is to help create conditions in which we can be proud of the achievements of our children, rather than worried about the next thing that might happen.

We are also a training organisation for APPCIOS, the Association for Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organisational Settings.

Our interventions, whether one-off training days, regular group sessions or more intensive work, are all forms of experiential training focused to support those who work with or care for children. Our work assists carers and other professionals to communicate with troubled and disturbed children and to understand the meanings of their behaviour and the underlying causes. We also apply this perspective to support team function, the management task and strategic planning.

Our aims

  • To support the placement of looked-after and adopted children.
  • To provide specialist support and therapeutic services to the networks of carers and professionals working with looked-after and adopted children.  
  • To promote the practice and understanding of specialist support and consultancy amongst professionals working with looked-after and adopted children.
  • To promote a wider understanding of the emotional needs of looked-after and adopted children

Why we do it

Caring for children who don’t always want to be cared for can be a bewildering experience, and it can be hard to find the right kind of help. Often, looked-after and adopted children present problems that are not easy to understand or to categorise, so while looking after traumatised and abused children can be deeply rewarding, it can also be one of the most difficult jobs there can be.

No-one should underestimate the difficulties of this work, and the impact that these vulnerable children can have on everyone around them: their peer group, their teachers, their adoptive and foster parents and the professional networks that try to help them.

These are children who come from troubled and disrupted families that could not hold together in a loving and cohesive way. Because of their early experiences, they find it hard to trust the adult world. They need a network of adults around them, thinking about them together and making sense of their scattered memories, if they are to overcome the emotional damage caused by early neglect, disruption, chaos or abuse.

We work with families, carers, staff groups, social workers and teachers as well as offering direct work to the children. We stress the importance of building a joined-up and cohesive understanding amongst all the adults who contribute to the care of the children.

We work with

We provide assessments and therapeutic interventions for looked after children and around any problematic issues involving fostering, adoption, and special guardianship. We provide more intensive regular work with social workers, carers and children to address specific concerns or difficulties in a placement. We provide a specialist clinician who can discuss problematic situations and difficult placements with supervising social workers and foster carers. We offer regular ongoing discussion groups or surgeries on an individual basis. We offer one-off training sessions including a three-hour workshop where foster carers and supervising social workers can share experiences and explore with us the emotional implications and challenges of children's behaviours.
We provide a clinician to think with the Head Teacher or specialist teachers about the children's behaviours, their family backgrounds and circumstances; We help to unpick how the children's emotional difficulties impact on their peer group, and on their capacity to learn. We offer discussion groups for teachers and teaching assistants, where difficult situations can be discussed and explored. We offer one-off training sessions including a three-hour workshop where teachers and care staff can share experiences and explore with us the emotional implications and challenges of children's behaviours.
We provide a specialist clinician who can discuss problematic situations and difficult placements with supervising social workers and foster carers. We offer regular ongoing discussion groups or surgeries on an individual basis. We provide more intensive regular work with social workers, carers and children to address specific concerns or difficulties in a placement. We offer one-off training sessions including a three-hour workshop where foster carers and supervising social workers can share experiences and explore with us the emotional implications and challenges of children's behaviours.
We provide a specialist clinician who can think with the parents about their child: about how their early experiences impact on them and on their family. We can work with the parents, or with the whole family to help them address the consequences of loss and trauma. We can support the parents in discussions with schools and provide therapeutic work for their child.
There will very often be an important family story behind special guardianships. We can provide a specialist clinician who can think about this with the guardians and with their children, and about how their early experiences impact on them and on their family. We can work with special guardians and children, or with whole families to help them address the consequences of loss and trauma. We can support the guardians in discussions with schools and provide therapeutic work for their child