The key outcome for which we strive is to maximise each child’s capacity to live in healthy, hopeful relationship with others. On this depends all of the other necessary outcomes which contribute to their thriving.
Whatever their symptoms, the children referred to us have been damaged by adults who struggle to relate well, perhaps as a result of similar childhood experiences of their own. It is only through experiencing healthy adult relationships that eventual and enduring recovery is found. iST is at heart a highly specialised model of parenting, capable of coping with the needs of traumatised children, and which is founded on adults having the time, energy and enthusiasm to think together in depth about, and with, children.
Robust, skilful, compassionate
iST is robust to contain extreme levels of behavioural disturbance so that all of the children and adults who live in our homes can do so safely. Children can then stay with us for long enough to allow trusting relationships to be built, and crucial therapeutic and educational work to be done.
iST is skilful to ensure that the painful disclosing, understanding and healing of trauma takes place for each child, and the ability to make healthy attachments and relationships is experienced and learned.
iST is compassionate so that every child can experience and learn that they are loveable and loved, however aggressive or destructive is the communication of their distress, anger, shame.
Breaking the cycle
Traumatised children learn with us to appreciate what a warm, loving and ordinary ‘family’ life and education is like. The cycle of trauma is broken, enabling a return to mainstream family life, either in birth or substitute family, or on to independent living at 18+, and when adulthood is reached, healthy family lives of their own.