We see BERRI as one component of improving the quality of placements. As a stand alone tool it can help inform those caring for a particular child, and give useful data to service managers, commissioners and inspectors.
However, it can also enhance the efficacy of existing interventions, or be one component in an evidence based, psychologically-informed care pathway.
One example of how we have used BERRI
is alongside staff training and regular consultations with a psychologist. We call this model PRIME. The acronym stands for:
- Psychological assessment
- Regular outcome measurement
- Individualised care-planning targets
- Multi-faceted formulations
- Evidence-based interventions
Where these five factors are in place, we believe the network can work together to provide effective individualised care.
What else can we offer? We think a little bit of psychology can go a long way. We can also provide wider psychological services:
- Training for carers and professional networks around the child to understand attachment, the impact of trauma, basic neuroscience and effective strategies for reparative care
- Working with organisations to bring in clinical governance and effective universal care pathways for Looked After Children in their placements
- Evidence-based psychological therapies
- Liaison with other agencies to ensure access to appropriate services for specialist needs and providing psychology input to panels
What distinguishes psychologically informed care?
- We need to assess the children we care for methodically
- Gather information about their story
- Individualise their care based on this information
- Have high quality care plan documents
- Use evidence to decide who needs therapy, what form and who will provide this
- Monitor how children are progressing
- Address issues with behaviour, mental health and attachment
- Improve outcomes (with measurements to demonstrate this)
"It is unusual to see an organisation be so clear and able to identify the issues for a child and to be able to be proactive about them. Its the swiftness at which you've identified the issues. CAMHS haven't been so quick or responsive and have never been so clear about the needs and how to work. Your pathway and use of the BERRI gives me confidence that you are meeting the needs and helping improve her outcomes and life chances. This level of insight is extraordinary, we don't even get it from the court process now. It feels like you are years ahead with your process. You set the standard for the network. You start at the beginning and not the end, identifying the needs and strategies to work on them not just vaguely trying to meet the Every Child Matters five outcomes. In short, I'm impressed."
Social Worker from Sunderland in relation to a home that had our full psychology pathway.