Why our social workers are trained in Theraplay and Richard Rose’s Life Story Work

Richard Rose portrait photo wearing. Beard and glasses. Wearing a shirt and tie.

There are many training opportunities on offer to social work professionals throughout the UK and now with the use of Zoom, internationally too. At St. Andrew’s Children’s Society, we have a commitment to providing meaningful training to our practitioners so that many of our families benefit and they can build and enhance their professional knowledge, as they work with families.

Theraplay ®

Little girl in a rain coat holding a birds feather

We are proud that all of our social workers have completed Level 1 Theraplay (at least), and use this in many aspects of their work, for example when assessing people who want to become foster carers or adopters and at the point of introductions to their children and beyond. We deliver an introduction to using Theraplay Principles to all our adopters and foster carers in person, and it has become a regular event on our training calendar.

Life Story Work

The other significant piece of training we are committed to offering to our team is Therapeutic Life Story Work. Some of our families will have already experienced this, and some families in the future will request it on behalf of their son or daughter.

Richard Rose

Richard Rose, the well-respected international trainer and author, is the Director of Therapeutic Life Story Work International (TLSWi) and has been delivering this training at St. Andrew’s Children’s Society since 2021. The people who have attended this training have been inspired and motivated by Richard Rose’s presentation, enthusiasm, and superb knowledge in working with ‘hard to reach’ children, and those who have experienced much trauma in their lives.

It is our view at St. Andrew’s Children’s Society, that we invest in and carefully chose what training the team needs rather than attending the many options that come our way.

Richard Rose’s Therapeutic Life Story Work is now known in many other countries such as Australia and the United States. He is also a published author with a number of great books to his name.

Theory and reality of therapeutic parenting

Adopters and foster carers know the long haul it can be to support and guide their young children/persons to feeling safe and secure in their new lives. We often refer to the ‘ theory and the reality’ of therapeutic parenting and how quickly the ‘reality’ can erupt in the wished for happy family life. Children coming to their new families do not leave their trauma at the doorstep. An article from years ago (I cannot recall the author), was titled ‘Old Behaviours New Beginnings’. It referred to children bringing all of their baggage with them, which included emotional responses they may have had to use to keep themselves safe when they lived in difficult and challenging environments.

Unresolved trauma

Unresolved trauma can get in the way of developing trusting and safe attachments. If not understood and properly placed (i.e. in the past) adopters and foster carers can lose faith in themselves or even question their ability to parent a child. We also know, secondary trauma is something that can be triggered for some and can result in blocked care.

Richard Rose event for adopters and foster carers

We are delighted to announce Richard Rose will be delivering a morning’s training to our adopters and foster carers on Thursday 5th October 2023 from 10-12.30, at the Edinburgh office. If you would like to attend, please call 0131 454 3370, or tell your social worker to put your name down. The theme will be ‘Attachment and Trauma’. Richard Rose talks about this with a wealth of knowledge, and we know you will find it both enlightening and informative.

We look forward to welcoming you on the Thursday 5th October 2023.

If any parent/foster carer who is not approved through St. Andrew’s Children’s Society wishes to attend, there is a modest charge of £30.00 per person.

Rita Grant

Adoption Support Manager