As the impact of COVID-19 and the associated social distancing rules are being felt by us all I am writing to let you know what we are doing on the BERRI team to ensure that we continue to provide the service and support that you need whilst prioritising the health of our employees and their families.

In order to play our part in ensuring the mental health of vulnerable children during the pandemic, we are offering free use in mainstream schools until summer, where it is completed about all children in a school (rather than just children causing concern). We have also decided to offer 3 months free use at the start of any new 12 month BERRI subscriptions for any local authorities or fostering providers to cover the lockdown period. To support children with higher needs, we are working on giving the option to spot purchase video a consultation with our psychological wellbeing practitioners or clinical psychologists to advise on the needs of a specific child. Please use our LiveChat service or the "Enquire" button at the top right of the page if you are interested in any of these options.

You will be pleased to know that despite remote working arrangements for all of our staff, we are confident we can continue to provide the same level of service to subscribers. The only change is that we are now only providing training and consultancy services via video webinar rather than in person, to minimise travel and face to face contacts. On behalf of all at BERRI I would like to thank all of you for providing important social care services for children in such challenging circumstances. We hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and well as we navigate through this crisis.

Good wishes,
Miriam

Dr Miriam Silver
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

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Testimonials

The BERRI has a high level of satisfaction amongst service managers, care staff, social workers, commissioners and Ofsted.

  • BERRI "sets a new gold standard for our members" - Jonathon Stanley, CEO of the Independent Children's Homes Association.
  • "The missing link in the residential care sector" - Sir Martin Narey, government advisor who reviewed residential care in the UK.
  • "We have been using BERRI since 2015 and it has proven to be a highly valuable tool for overall care planning for our children and young people. The psychologically informed care planning allows us to individually tailor care plans focusing on specific areas of development for each young person. Regular formulation meetings with a highly accredited psychologist and assistant psychologist allows key people in the children’s lives to be involved in care planning and target setting. This includes the whole care team working with the child. We have found that this empowers the staff team to really feel invested and able to give input into the child’s day to day care." - After Care (NW) Ltd
  • "We love it! We have, so far, completed 15 and 7 of those have a second report to add. The social workers are reporting that the act of asking the questions is opening up all sorts of discussions." - Casey Griffiths, Fostering Administrator Cornerways Fostering Services
  • "As a commissioning manager in children’s social care, I developed a pilot referral form using the BERRI assessment screening tool to identify children’s needs effectively and form a package of care delivery based on identified need. The BERRI tool was significant in enabling teenage children to access foster care from residential care. By using the BERRI to identify specific need in a small pilot of 15 high tariff children, three of our children were placed into fostering services and one returned home with a supportive care package to ensure this move was successful. These children have remained successfully within their current placements and the BERRI contributed to a saving of almost half a million pounds per annum." - Matthew Utley, Commissioning Manager, Bracknell Forrest (now with the West London Alliance)
  • "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.
  • "It is easy to use and gives us evidence of how what we do impacts on the child that we can show to their social worker and ofsted" -therapist
  • "I only hear positives about the added value they offer and the accessibility. They reduce disruption, and carers want more. The way psychology is delivered feels empowering to social workers and carers. It doesn't take a problem away to fix, the input is collaborative and the advice concrete and practical." - Social care manager, in relation to a full package including regular psychological consultations
  • "Understanding how best to meet the needs of looked after children in the UK is longstanding, and in policy terms a wicked problem. As well as the human cost to our most vulnerable children, this failure to understand and meet needs costs the state several billion pounds a year. These costs are avoidable. However, we cannot begin to understand how services should be developed without reliable data on the efficacy of specialist interventions. There is an urgent need for a reliable and validated measure to be routinely used in children’s social care. In my opinion the BERRI is the only properly validated outcome measure being used with this population. It has huge potential to help us understand what works in improving outcomes for Looked After Children and produce significant financial savings by identifying ineffective services. All local authorities should be considering introducing the BERRI as the routine measure of progress for Looked after Children." - Dr Mark Kerr, Centre for Outcomes of Care