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

Engaging children living in out-of-home care in therapeutic services

The Engaging children living in out-of-home care in therapeutic services practice guide provides information about some key considerations when responding to children who have experienced childhood trauma, and some practice implications.

It provides practical steps about how to understand and respond to concerning self-soothing behaviours, trust issues and includes a new engagement tool to help others working with these children plan sessions and approaches.

Also included is clinical advice about how to use some of Dr Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) concepts, particularly the idea of ‘dosing’ tolerable therapeutic interactions and using the 3Rs (regulate, relate and reason) approach to calm a child’s brain and behaviours.

This guide is the first in a planned series and will share 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.

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Take Two Assistant Director Holly Mosse said improving practice across the sector makes a real difference to the community.

‘There are about 12,000 children in out-of-home care in Victoria right now and we’re funded to work with only a very small number of them,’ she said. ‘They’ve all suffered some sort of developmental trauma. Without support to help them recover, these traumatised children are less likely to be able to reach their full potential, and more likely to experience mental illness.’

'If we can help other people working with these very vulnerable children also adopt a trauma-informed approach, we can help more children and young people recover, feel safer and live more productive lives.’

Holly Mosse Take Two Assistant Director

‘Out-of-home care staff and carers often refer to Take Two clinicians as miracle workers. We’re not, we just have a strong understanding of how traumatic experiences can impact a child and the organisation of a child’s brain, body and behaviours.'

Keep your eyes out for our future practice guides. Subscribe below to get them sent to your inbox. You can also read more stories and case studies about Take Two's work.

Berry Street’s Take Two service is a Victoria-wide therapeutic service helping to address the impact on children of the trauma they have experienced from abuse, neglect or adverse experiences. Take Two is a flagship site for the NMT approach developed by Dr Bruce Perry.