Complex Care Co-ordination

The complex child in your midst is offering you an opportunity to do some rethinking - they are the canaries in the mine

This could be children with a diagnosis such as ASD or ADHD or a history of trauma or disrupted early care or both

They are all sensitive children who pick up the atmosphere around them.  They often need us to slow down.

So when it comes to caring for any child with complex needs, training and team work and support really matter.

We are talking about brain development and the way in which relationships shape the developing brain.

The needed steps are quite specific - there is a lot to notice but the more you notice, the more interesting it becomes!

What matters is the fit between the demands on a child (or adult) and the resources available at the time

Are essential needs being met?

When appropriate curriuculm, workforce training and support are not available in timely fashion what you see is 

+ stressed children

+ stressed teachers

+ stressed parent-child relationships

+ fragmenting families

+ poor mental health 

+ poor physical health 

+ poor educational outcomes

+ high workforce absenteeism

+ safeguarding investigations

+ higher youth offending

+ more gang culture

+ extremely high SEN Budgets

+ too many children in care

+ placement breakdowns

Having seen this pattern over and over again in my professional career I Matter Training is about speaking up

We claim we want to support vulnerable children but our health and education policies and practices are not yet on track.

Sadly there are too many expensive care packages that don't come with appropriate staff and parent training

And few if any agreed progress monitoring tools which can manage complex fluctuating details at home and school

In spite of billions spent on tracking academic progress in children, social emotional development and parenting is still no-one's core business 

Instead there is too much 'overly child centred practice' which looks like this

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The parent-child or carer-child relationship is a key element of stabilising the child - yet even those parents and carers who who are motivated to help their child struggle to access appropriately informed help.

However when professionals try to support children and young people without ensuring that the parent-child relationship is functioning in as healthy a way as possible, this is a recipe for entrenching and escalating problems, with ineffective and very expensive care packages.

As an image our current appoach to parenting-caring support is like leaving your most challenging pupils with the least trained staff in a back corridor and being surprised and diisappointed and judgemental when they don't cope well.

There has to be some accountability involved - and clarity about what skills are required and why - from all parties

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Therefore an I Matter complex care co-ordination package is delivered in partnership with schools and communities that are committed to new thinking.  We seek to work with schools where there are senior leadership teams who are committed to training for themselves and their own staff teams as what is really needed is culture change.

More adults in the classroom even with complex children does not necessarily mean better outcomes.

However when a supportive context is present then complex children can and do make impressive progress.

Our complex co-ordinated care package therefore includes:

i) Assessment of the child and families needs with clear recommendations

ii) Training and coaching of parents in an I Matter Approach - as this is the key long term relationship

iii) Training and coaching of seniors, teachers and teaching assistants in an I Matter Approach - building an inhouse Lead team

iv) Development of whole school thinking for all staff including progress tracking through an extended collaborative process

v)  Progress tracking of the individual or cohort over time with a focus on skills development of all adults and child

A child with additional needs is always an opportunity for a learning journey for parents and carers - particularly if things have been stressful and off track for a long time.

Sometimes the individual child is also the opportunity for a school or community to embark on a development process that can as an outcome benefit many other children too.

At the present time our complex co-ordinated care packages are provided only in the Kendal area where we are working with the Kendal ICC to develop community based thinking.

If you want to learn more about our complex care co-ordination and training please get in touch.

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It's quite simple really - we offer resources and encourage people to take time to think and learn about what is happening around them..

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We carefully gather evidence of the impact of I Matter Training using a variety of formats and will be presenting more here very shortly.

Get Started: Learn why healthy adult-child relationships and healthy communities matter for mental health, positive behaviour and healthy child development at home and in school. Then.. Take Stock and Go for Results.


If I had understood these ideas earlier

I could have been a lot more effective

Family Support Worker



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