Sprucewood’s Approach

a little bit about us

Sprucewood’s approach to residential care has been informed by and developed in line with contemporary trauma, attachment, sensory integration, and neuro-sequential models from various scholars (Perry, 2009; van der Kolk, 2009; Hughes, 2009; Siegal, 1999; Bhreathnach, 2009).  Sprucewood’s model holds the child at the centre surrounded by a specialist, innovative, multi-disciplinary team, attuned and focused on identified and agreed goals for each child. Our model has three underlying principles;  the importance of contemporary knowledge and research, the significance and power of relationships and the role and impact of environmental factors.

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Our aims, objectives and therapeutic approach

Sprucewood Care

Our approach understands that child development and learning is facilitated by a series of deeply personal human relationships and that it is the long-term experience of consistent, nurturing and positive caregiving which enables a child to grow and flourish.

Sprucewood provides a safe, therapeutic, nurturing environment for a maximum of two children, male or female, aged 6-13 years old, who have complex developmental trauma related difficulties. Exposed to adverse early childhood experiences these children require intensive therapeutic support with the main objective of stabilizing their behavior by supporting the development of self-regulation skills in readiness to return to a familial placement arrangement.

Our residential team has the knowledge, skills and experience to work with children with a history of complex trauma, abuse, neglect and loss and who have not had the consistent emotional, social and physical care required for healthy development. The children have often experienced multiple placement breakdowns, relationship ruptures without repair and present with subsequent entrenched survival strategies.

Sprucewood’s trauma informed, developmentally sensitive approach emphasis’s the inherent value of responsive relationships in our lives. The one to one staff ratio with our specially trained and experienced staff team provide opportunities for each child to explore positive attachment experiences in the milieu of their daily lives, opportunities for them to experience rupture and subsequent repair of relationships in a safe, responsive and contained space. In light of this Sprucewood only accepts referrals for medium to longer term placements as the therapeutic approach embraced requires sufficient time for a child to stabilize and begin the process of building attuned relationships with staff.

Sprucewood Care
Sprucewood Care

Our staff team understand the impact of trauma on a child’s neurobiological, psychological, social and emotional development and the need for the primary focus of therapeutic work to be the creation of a holding and containing environment through predictable daily routines, structures and consistent care giving. From the safety of this base the child can begin to develop trust in, and trusting relationships with, the adults who care for them. Sprucewood encourages social work teams to identify the child’s potential onward placement as early as possible with the aim of providing optimum support and preparation for the transition. Identified family members/carers are supported through training and coaching by the Sprucewood’s multidisciplinary team encouraging new carer’s to engage responsively with the child and build a foundation for a safe and encouraging relationship long term, increasing the chances of a positive outcome and successful return to a secure and stable familial placement.

A fundamental reflective and responsive culture in our home ensures that each child is held securely at the center of all we do, with a team that sees beyond mal-adaptive coping mechanisms to the origins of behaviour and embraces agreed approaches and interventions that best support the needs of each individual child. Staff are supported in their role through a comprehensive training programme. Facilitated by our therapeutic team, this programme aims to enhance staff understanding of the impact that adverse experiences can have on child development and behaviour.  Through the study of trauma and attachment theories, sensory attachment interventions and the neurobiological development of the brain and sensory processing, staff are supported in gaining greater insight into the challenges the children face and in turn are equipped to attune to the individual needs of each child. Each child’s social worker and potential new or previous carers are welcomed and encourage to join training workshops throughout a placement.

Staff are further supported in their role through bi-monthly organizational and clinical supervision which embraces collaborative reflection and positively builds on staff thoughts, feelings and values as they engage in the co-regulation process of supporting the children in our care.

Sprucewood Care

Our values

Social work core values are embedded throughout our practice. We strive for excellence, advocating on behalf of the children in our care and facilitating their voice. We believe in the dignity and worth of every individual and place great significance in the centrality of human relationships, committed to creating an environment built on mutual respect, compassion and trust. We strive to promote a sense of happiness, well-being, belonging and fun. We believe in the importance of integrity, engaging an open, honest and transparent approach and insist on professional competent practice, with clear management and governance support systems firmly in place.