Providing Therapeutic Residential Care and
Aftercare for Children and Young People
Tel: 01 283 2071

How we Work

Each Centre provides a programme of care based on the agreed needs, identified at pre-admission stage and during the admission procedure. This process involves the child or young person, their family, Social Worker and relevant others. See Referral Criteria and process for each service for details.

The Services are run by teams of professionally trained social care staff, and led by Centre Managers together with a Director of Services.
The services operate a key-worker system where each child is allocated a staff member who manages their care within the Centre and acts as a liaison person with external agencies. This staff member will also work closely with the child throughout their time in care. The Centres provide a combination of individual work, group work and family contact.

The key-worker relationships are central to the social and emotional development of the children and young people. They are conducted in a conscientious and professional manner and are the basis for the therapeutic work with individual residents.

We provide high quality care and treatment within psychodynamic principles and a therapeutic community approach. This recognises the importance of the inner world as the source of much distress, but also of much hope and strength for change and growth.

We believe that:

  • Healing can take place within a stable and safe environment and a culture of openness.
  • The group can assist the individual to make sense of their experiences and behaviour.
  • Any interaction can contain valuable communication and while not condoning unacceptable behaviour, we are more concerned with what the behaviour is communicating.
  • Staff must develop an awareness of the developmental stage of each child/young person, as well as a sense of the development stage that the whole group has reached.

It is the on-going work of the teams to combine these different, yet complementary elements of Child Care practice. The aim is to create a warm and relaxed atmosphere in which residents can live as normal a life as possible. At another level certain behaviour needs to be purposefully confronted to address deeper issues. This requires a high degree of skill and commitment on the part of front line care staff, which is supported by informed and committed management.

David Power, Director

David Power, Director of Smyly Trust