Tips for supporting young people in therapeutic care through COVID-19 – practice tool

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Mar 2020

This resource was developed to provide a range of tips and insights on supporting young people during the COVID pandemic. It covers a range orf areas across Realstionships and staying connected, pre planning and predictability, indivualised support plans, participation and the social climate.

 

 

Introduction

How do we keep to the therapeutic care principles of safety, consistency, predictability and routine in a world that feels like it has turned upside down overnight? It’s near impossible! If we are feeling this way, imagine how the young people may be feeling.

 

How do we keep to the therapeutic care principles of safety, consistency, predictability and routine in a world that feels like it has turned upside down overnight? It’s near impossible! If we are feeling this way, imagine how the young people may be feeling.

 

You are all working very hard to put plans in place that ensures the safety and well-being of all young people and staff. If your organisation is like ours, this process is consuming a lot of time and energy, including emotional energy. There is so much uncertainty surrounding what we knew our lives to be about – it’s changing in ways we could never have predicted. It’s impossible not to see the parallels of our current realities with the world of traumatised young person.

Humour is great way of relieving tension but remember that for many staff and young people it also masks underlying anxiety and fear about COVID-19 that they need our support with.

 

At these times, the perceived and felt sense of safety of young people with trauma is easily undermined by the uncertainty brought about with COVID-19. As we know, when young people are feeling unsafe in their world they can have a range of responses that can include escalations in behaviour. We need to remember the drivers of the behaviour are a lack of safety and thus our focus needs to be on building safety in a time of uncertainty.

 

As we move further into a world where our movements are restricted due to stay at home directives, self-isolation and quarantine requirements there may be additional challenges for young people who may find it difficult to comply with the restrictions that will be required of them within the house or in their community.

 

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