Underpinning approach

The four pillars of the QPC model

QPC’s practice stands on an evidence-based framework to ensure consistency and measurable standards rather than individual’s ideas and preferences. What we provide for our team is a clear and simple foundation for all their practice, which is built on where necessary by our clinical team and specific training.

The following four concepts are embedded in the QPC philosophy and are reflect the key messages in the Government’s Future in Mind (DoH, 2015) document and Parliamentary review that reviewed the current provision of care to vulnerable children:

  1.     Fostering Positive Attachments
  2.     Building Permanence
  3.     Authoritative Parenting
  4.     Developing resilience

 

  1.     Fostering Positive Attachments

At QPC we ask our staff not to just ‘look after’ young people within the confines of the legal term, but we expect them to ‘care for’ them as a loving parent would. We encourage our young people to develop their understanding of themselves, others people and the world around them and we strive to support them to actualise their wonderful potential.

  1.     Building Permanence

It is likely that prior to their transition to residential care, young people have experienced multiple moves. QPC aims to build a sense of permanence for their young residents by providing them with stable placements that foster positive attachments. Our young people are provided with a sense of belonging and security by being given a sense of ownership in the running of the homes and care plans that incorporate their views.

At QPC we recognise the importance of permanence throughout our systems of care. We appreciate that looking after young people in care can bring up challenges for professionals who are involved in their welfare, which on occasions can threaten the stability of the placement. In addition to building permanence with our young people, at QPC we seek to continually develop the levels of resilience in our staff, who are provided with regular managerial and clinical supervision and training from national and international experts within the field of LAC.

  1.     Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting involves a synthesis of nurture, consistent boundaries and sanctions. International research supports the view that authoritative parenting is the most effective way to model to young people appropriate ways to regulate emotion and to relate positively with themselves and others.

At QPC we understand that young people in care have been exposed to unhelpful models of parenting that can range from abandonment and neglect to an authoritarian style that is critical and uses physical chastisement. The inconsistent manner in which young people in care have been parented complicates matters further as they grow up experiencing the world as an unpredictable and threatening place.

As committed parents it is our duty at QPC to provide the young people in our care with the opportunity to experience authoritative parenting. This process is supported by the use of ‘house rules’, which the young people themselves contribute to developing. In the event of a breach of the ‘house rules’, sanctions are implemented at which time staff remain receptive to listen to our young person’s views on the matter. We are always proactive in facilitating and promoting with our young people reflective discussions regarding the sanctions.

4. Developing Resilience

At QPC we appreciate that life is full of challenges for everyone and resilience is key to managing and navigating these difficulties in a safe and healthy way. The disruption that young people in care have experienced in their lives will have compromised their levels of resilience. Through our individualised, patient and thorough approach to parenting and education and our use of attachment theory to understand and work with our children, staff at QPC are well placed to promote resilience in our young people.

Developing Resilience within the Young People

At QPC we pride ourselves on developing resilience in the young people at all levels by providing them with the following opportunities:

  • Structured routines that incorporate praise and the fair administration of sanctions.
  • Support to develop a sense of agency of self-efficacy through developing their range of academic and functional skills and opportunities for both emotional independence and employment. Several of our young people have successfully gone on to find employment in the locality.
  • Making meaningful contributions to the household that promote life-skills (e.g. shopping, budgeting and organisation), self-esteem and problem-solving.
  • Support to develop self-regulation and insight to overcome periods of crisis that may arise, such as friction within the home or hospital admissions after self-harm.
  • Support to develop beliefs that their actions can have a meaningful impact on others; e.g. through arranging fundraising events for local and national charities and working with vulnerable people, such as the homeless and elderly.

 

Developing Resilience within the Staff Team

At QPC we believe in a ‘360 degree’ system of care around our young people. In terms of resilience, this means that we are committed to ensuring that our staff team at all levels have the support via managerial and clinical supervision to discuss any concerns that they may have regarding their professional role. Staff can also meet in confidence, either formally or informally, with our in-house Clinical Psychologist to discuss personal issues that they feel are impacting on their role to care for our young people.

Resilience is also developed within the staff team by way of regular consultation and training from the Clinical Team. Staff are encouraged to use these opportunities to develop both their understanding of the young person in their care and wider topics such as mindfulness and mental health.

QPC also have a further-developed therapeutic model (SPARCS) which is applied specifically in our more intensely therapeutic homes, which underpins and guides staff practice.