Amicus provides high quality therapeutic residential care for emotionally troubled children, from the ages of five up to eighteen (no older then sixteen on admission). This is done through two family sized homes located in the local community.
The homes can both accommodate up to four children in each home and their structure and practices are designed to meet the needs of children and young people who are unable to manage or be managed within a family environment, whether birth, adoptive or foster. At the same time they are children who require therapeutic intervention and whose young emotional age and emotional vulnerability will make a placement in larger traditional children’s homes unsuitable and inappropriate.
A structured therapeutic environment
Amicus bridges the gap between the children’s need for a well planned, professionally staffed and supervised environment and their equal need for a safe, small, nurturing, family sized living therapeutic experience. By providing a carefully considered and structured therapeutic environment which is tailored to the individual needs of each child or young person we begin to help the children achieve a greater understanding of their inner lives, emotional views of the world and past experiences and relationships. This assists and enables the child to make the successful transition to family life or independence.
Where it is not possible or appropriate for a child to live with their family of origin, Amicus, in collaboration with the child’s local authority, will assist in finding an alternative. In both cases, Amicus plans a structured programme of work with the child’s parents or future carers. This work is vital in facilitating the child’s successful transition into family life and working towards eventual independence.
The structure of Amicus allows the children and young people to live in small and domestic but professionally staffed households. This will help them to feel safe and secure while also enhancing the opportunity to begin building the more trusting and dependent relationships/attachments with adults so essential for their long term healthy emotional and intellectual development.
Developing for the future
Both the younger and adolescent households will also form a broader, interconnected therapeutic community. This will have the benefits of allowing the children and young people to encounter the larger group experience, helping them develop the capacities to work and play in groups essential for their future familial, social and educational success. Being part of, and learning to live within, the larger group can often bring out important emotional issues for the children and young people that may otherwise remain hidden. It can also help them understand that they are not alone and isolated, a feeling common amongst many children and young people experiencing emotional difficulties.
The homes are situated in an ordinary neighbourhood, becoming, where appropriate, part of its life and routines. The children and young people therefore are able to share and benefit from the relationships, amenities and expertise it has to offer. This aims to remove some of the feelings of exclusion that are often ingrained in emotionally deprived children and young people and adds to the process of gradual integration.