Shalamar Children’s Home, Isola, is based in a large house in a rural setting in Essex. We are a residential children’s home with a therapeutic approach. Our aim is to resolve issues in young people and not to merely contain them. We achieve this by using Attachment based care and to look for the communication behind any behaviour. We nurture and understand the child using empathy as one of our key tools.
Shalamar’s work looks to change the negative way that young people view themselves and the adults around them. Through attachment based nurture we restore their self-belief and provide positive experiences with adults who care.
We also provide a psycho-dynamic behavioural approach, which is worked alongside the attachment framework, where we bring the unconscious to the conscious. This allows the young people to understand why they are feeling and acting the way they are and is the first step to taking control of their actions.
We understand that many children who display challenging behaviour have had trauma at some point in their life. This usually manifests itself in emotional developmental delay. It is at this age that we treat the young person and base our expectations on. This creates a realistic and settled environment for the young person who can succeed and receive praise for their work and efforts.
Shalamar have created a video to explain Attachment Theory and how to use it. This video is used as training all over the world by many companies and organisations. Find it on YouTube where is has received over 150,000 views.
An area Shalamar focus in on is understanding that ‘behaviour is a communication’. Shalamar make great efforts to look beyond the display of behaviour to see the underlying issues. Our healing starts by looking at the underlying reasons for challenging behaviour, and addressing those issues.
Shalamar use Dan Hughes’ ‘PACE’ method to gain a positive attachment with the young people in their care. ‘PACE’ stands for Playfulness – Acceptance – Curiosity – Empathy. Given time, we aim to create a stable secure base and safe haven for the child, allowing them to heal.
Our number one aim is to address the deep lying fears and anxieties that the children have about themselves and about the adults around them. This fear and anxiety produces chaos in their minds and therefore in their behaviour. By producing an environment where we provide sustained nurturing for all of our children – we can reduce their fears and anxieties and this will allow them to settle because they feel safe.
This then gives them the time and space to reflect and repair the damaged model they have of themselves and of the adults around them.
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