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Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil leads the way in delivering Therapeutic Practice for foster carers and children

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 17 Jun 2024

Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil has appointed a dedicated and full time Therapeutic Practitioner to work with and support foster families. This represents a huge commitment from the Local Authority to invest in additional support for foster carers and the children that they look after.

Merthyr Tydfil Children’s Services are now able to offer unique packages of support and intervention to our Children Looked After and their Foster Carers, through the newly established team of Therapeutic Practitioner and Support Workers.  The team offers bespoke support and intervention therapeutic approaches to work collaboratively to work directly with the child and/or young person, alongside the foster carers to improve stability and positively influence and strengthen their relationships.

Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil has set up a new team of support workers who work with our Therapeutic Practitioner Nicole Gunter to ensure that we are able to talk to our children and foster carers about the help available to them through:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
  • Trauma Informed Approaches

These approaches are used successfully to help our children and young people who may present with Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing issues, to help them learn the skills and strategies to both understand their difficulties and to positively amend thoughts and feelings to better improve behaviour and their outcomes. 

Nicole Gunter, Therapeutic Practitioner at Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil said:

“I started in this role at the beginning of March and we have already seen the benefits of being able to offer these therapies which help create stability for children. I have been a qualified Social Worker since 2008 and worked in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services team for 5 years, which gave me the skills I need in this new and exciting role.

“I am able to suggest early interventions to offer support for children who may present with neurodivergence and / or a host of Mental Health issues such as emotional dysregulation, anxiety and challenging behaviours. It felt as if everything fell into place for me when I saw that this new team was being created in Merthyr Tydfil as it brings together all of my key skills and experience to enable me to work full time in an area which I am dedicated to and know can make a big and lasting impact on the lives of our children and their families”.

Jo Llewellyn, Head of Service at Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil said:

“We are proud to be leading the way in offering this sort of support to our foster carers and the children that they look after. We know from the regular consultations and meetings that we have with our foster carers that the support they receive from Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil is one of the key things which enables them to develop and continue in their roles. We listened when our foster carers said that they needed more support when the children they cared for presented with Mental Health issues and we have set up this therapeutic practitioner support team to address those concerns. We believe that this newly created team shows not just that we listen to our foster carers, but that we are actively doing all that we can to support them on the fostering journeys”.

In Wales, there are currently over 7,000 young people in care, but only 3,800 foster families. Foster Wales Merthyr Tydfil is one of the 22 Local Authorities in Wales who aim to recruit new foster families every year to provide welcoming homes for local children and young people.

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