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Restorative Parenting: Delivering Trauma-Informed Residential Care for Children in Care

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/12/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Child & Youth Care Forum
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)991-1012
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/03/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There are 78,150 children in care in England and 12% live in group residential settings. Little empirical research informs our understanding of how these vulnerable children heal from multi-type trauma in residential homes. Evidence-based multisystemic trauma-informed models of care are needed for good quality consistent care.

Using a novel multisystemic trauma-informed model of care with an embedded developmental monitoring index, the Restorative Parenting Recovery Programme, pilot data was collected from young people and care staff from four residential homes over a two-year period. Five key developmental areas of children’s recovery were investigated through monthly monitoring data. Staff were also interviewed to explore their experiences of delivering the intervention to contextualise the findings.

Data was gathered from 26 children, aged 6–14 years, over a two-year period. Their developmental wellbeing was measured using the Restorative Parenting Recovery Index and analysed through a comparison of means. To add further context to this preliminary analysis, qualitative interviews were undertaken with 12 Therapeutic Parents to explore their perceptions of how the Restorative Parenting Recovery Programme influenced the children’s development.

Young people showed significant improvements on indices relating to relationships (p = 0.002, d=0.844). Significant changes are observed during the first half of the programme in self-perception (p = 0.006, d = 0.871) and self-care (p = 0.018, d = 0.484), although limited progress around self-awareness and management of impulses and emotions.

This novel integrative approach to re-parenting and embedded measurement system to track the children’s progress is the first of its kind and has originated from extensive multisystemic clinical practice.