Childhood First provides direct, intensive, specialist support to children and young people suffering from severe emotional and behavioural issues. They do this through their five residential therapeutic communities based in Norfolk, Northampton, and Kent, which support up to 50 children and young people aged 5 to 19 years old a year, from across England and Wales. They also work with families and care givers and provide advice and guidance to professionals, reaching hundreds more severely traumatised children and young people.
The children and young people Childhood First work with are some of the most troubled and disadvantaged in the country. These children cannot cope in foster homes, children’s homes or special schools. They have often suffered physical and sexual abuse and neglect leading to chaotic and damaging behaviour. 95% of children in our care have been victims of serious abuse or neglect, and 99% of them have the symptoms of a serious conduct problem. For most of these you people Children First is their last hope.
Through their communities, Childhood First offer specialist group therapeutic support; they have developed this approach, known as Integrated Systemic Therapy, over forty years. Through their work traumatised children learn to appreciate what a warm, loving and ordinary ‘family’ life and education is like; with support the cycle of trauma is broken.
Childhood First’s mission is to transform the lives of children and young people who suffer severe emotional and psychological difficulties, so that they can relate well to others, fulfill their potential and enjoy life.