An Introduction

by Steve Miller, Chief Executive of Marlowe Child & Family Services

Dear visitor,

Thank you for taking the time to look at our web site. Over the 22 years since first founding Marlowe Child & Family Services as an independent and family owned business, we have remained committed to going above and beyond strong foundations of high-quality basic care. The following pages summarise our work, our practice, education and clinical provision, our theoretical underpinning, our approach and our objective to achieve measurable Growth and Change for some of the most vulnerable, disturbed and disturbing children in our society.

We have used our extensive experience to profile the type of child that most closely correlates to our available resources, understanding, skills and culture. From our analysis of the best research available, we think approximately 1% of children in the ‘looked after’ population meet this criteria of those children likely to benefit most from our approach. They frequently present with histories of placement instability, serious relationship, attachment and significant safeguarding concerns. They will often have multi- agency involvement, highly disrupted educational and psychosocial development typically associated with multiple trauma and the most complex emotional, psychological and behavioural difficulties. They tend to engender very significant levels of professional concern. These children will be vulnerable to sexual exploitation, will often be destructive of relationships and will have limited ability to keep themselves safe. Their trauma will be‘acted-out’in challenging behaviour, risk-taking, self-destructive and self-harming behaviour. There will be concerns around their mental health.

We know that, at its best, highly specialist therapeutic residential care enables these children to contain their highest levels of disturbance, whilst also providing the necessary stability for them to feel safe enough to begin the journey towards growth and change (and ultimately transition to a family or independent living).

We know that it is the home, the staff, and most importantly relationships that create a sense of safety and emotional containment for each child. This view is underpinned by an understanding of Attachment Theory, and in particular the central notion that children must build significant bonds of attachment if therapeutic residential care is to achieve measureable, positive outcomes. To this end we are committed to supporting, training and facilitating our staff to continually develop and improve the necessary competences to manage the most challenging children in a skilled, non-punitive and consistently therapeutic way.

Our practice model is a clinically researched and supported method of achieving our goal to help each child move on toward a more ‘normalised’ living environment as soon as is practically possible. It is through this process of continually measuring and assessing each child throughout their placement that we evaluate progress towards our objective; that is to achieve internalised and sustainable Growth and Change. At the point of moving on, we also offer clear and practical recommendations for professionals as to the type of support and intervention necessary to sustain stability and achieve placement permanency.

We hope this site & brochure go someway to explaining in detail what we do, and who will benefit most from our services.