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Berry Street’s Take Two program has produced a new practice guide to support others working with trauma-impacted children and young people.

Our ‘Crucial connections: Understanding a child’s relational health’ practice guide provides information and practical advice about:

Take Two practice guide - Crucial connections: Understanding a child's relational health

• how looking back on what a child has experienced helps us to see the way forward
• ways to assess a child’s current relational health
• why being safe doesn’t feel safe for many children
• how a ‘therapeutic web’ of people is crucial to a child’s recovery from trauma
• how relationships can create daily therapy ‘doses’ for children
• why you need to recruit parents, other caregivers, extended family members, neighbours, teachers and others to form a therapeutic web
• ways to support yourself and others working with the child when they seem resistant to the care being offered.

The guide also includes two free tools for you to use with children and their parents or other caregivers.

Our guide is written for professionals working with children whose development and day-to-day functioning has been significantly impacted by abuse, family violence, neglect and other adverse experiences. These professionals may include case managers, clinicians, therapists, case planners and those in direct caregiving roles including teachers and other educators.

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This is the second in our series of guides and shares key elements of Take Two’s system-wide, trauma-informed approach to working with children who are suffering developmental trauma as a result of neglect, family violence or abuse.

We ran a free online ‘Clinical Conversation’ on understanding a child’s relational health in July 2022. You can watch the video recording of the webinar below.

In the first session clinical manager Dr Lyn Radford and one of our practice development consultants, Kat Wood explain the principles of relational health and why it is crucial for a child's development, especially when they've experienced chronic developmental trauma. Kat then demonstrates how to use the two free practical visual tools that Take Two has created (included in the practice guide). She shows how you can use the first tool to assess the quantity and quality of relationships in a child’s life and how you can use that information in the second tool to support caregivers and others to provide ‘therapeutic doses’ to the child or young person.

The second session features one of our skilled senior clinicians, Adrienne Buhagiar discussing a de-identified Take Two case with Clare Ryan, our clinical practice development team leader. She outlined how she assessed and then improved the relational health of a young child 'Moses' (not his real name) after significant trauma.

We'll be publishing another practice guide and holding another free online Clinical Conversation in 2022. Please subscribe to our 'Relate' eNews to receive them in your inbox.

Berry Street’s Take Two program is a therapeutic service helping to address the mental health impacts on children of the trauma they have experienced from abuse, neglect or adverse experiences. At Take Two we see who the child is, not just the behaviour.

We use clinical frameworks, neurobiological research and evidence-informed approaches to repair family relationships and develop networks of caring adults that focus on what the child needs.

Take Two can provide specialist clinical consultancy services, including training to other organisations. Contact us for more information.