You can train a hen to crow but it is probably easier to hire a rooster: Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour

The recruitment industry has a saying: “you can train a hen to crow but it is probably easier to hire a rooster”. Perhaps this is also applicable to the adoption of self-care  practices and reduction of burnout experienced by OoHC/YJ workers, i.e. perhaps we should recruit people who already undergo self-care practices or are resilient to burnout. The results The…

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How to reduce burnout in OoHC & YJ staff (Part 1): Improve supervision

This is the penultimate post in the series that reviews the evidence for prevention of burnout in OoHC and YJ workers. This and the next post will attempt to summarise ‘what works’ in preventing burnout. The results The previous studies (click here and here) suggest that self-care and trauma-informed self-care strategies have a positive effect, but do not impact on…

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Latest research on causes and treatments of self-harm by adolescents

Self-harming is common amongst young people in OoHC, youth justice and alternative school settings. As noted in my last post, I just love a succinct summary of the evidence of the causes and treatment of mental health issues. Today’s post provides such a summary on the causes and interventions for self-harm. This YouTube video, called Self Injury Knowledge and Skills…

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Can Mentilisation Based Therapy skills assist OoHC & YJ Practitioners create more therapeutic relationships with clients?

Day  2: International Child Trauma Conference 2018 Yesterday I attended Peter Fongy’s masterclass on Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) Who is Peter Fonagy?   Peter is a psychologist with special interests in the neurobiology of attachment, working with violent young men and people with personality disorders. He has authored over 300 peer reviewed articles. You can read a short version of…

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Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Highlights from the Childhood Trauma Conference (Day 1)

I am at the 3rd International Childhood International Trauma Conference in Melbourne. The conference brings together international leaders in the field of trauma and trauma recovery. The aim is to distill information that might be relevant to Practitioners be they foster carers, resi-worker workers, case managers or JJ workers etc. A big task!  The conference runs for five and half…

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OoHC agencies implicated in high turnover of foster carers

A shortage of foster carers is a chronic issue for child protection departments and OoHC agencies. This shortage is exacerbated by high turnover rates of existing foster carers. A recent Australian study analysed the reasons why current foster carers may consider discontinuing as carers and suggests that agencies can do more to prevent the turnover. Objectives of the study The…

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Review launches devastating critique of the Trauma Model

The recent Juvenile Justice Review[1] questions the relevance of the trauma model for custodial settings. Given that this is the first pubic critique of the model, it raises the question of whether the model will be called into question in the child protection/OoHC space more generally. The rise and fall of psychological theories of the decades Psychological theories have risen…

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Resilience Part II: How practitioners can improve resilience of young people in OoHC/YJ

This week’s blog continues the focus on influential child psychiatrist, Michael Rutter – this time his work on resilience. The last blog post defined ‘resilience’ and identified the underlying factors that give rise to resilience. Today, we will investigate how resilience might develop – especially in young people in OoHC and YJ settings. Firstly, Rutter notes that the research findings…

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Treating Chronically Traumatized Children: Don’t let sleeping dogs lie!

Arianne Struik is a clinical psychologist who works with traumatised Indigenous children in remote parts of Australia on a fly in/fly out(FIFO) basis. She presented a paper entitled Treating Chronically Traumatized Children: Don’t let sleeping dogs lie at the Australian Psychology Society (APS) Conference last year. The APS has released a video of her presentation at the cost of only…

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Why Alternative Schools Should Provide Parenting Skills Programs

This study argues that special schools should provide  parenting skills programs to parents of students in an effort to reduce behaviour problems at the school. Behaviour problems are a key reason why children/young people are excluded from school. This is especially true for those in residential care and the youth justice systems. To be excluded from school then reduces their…

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