Anderida Adolescent Care

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Anderida Adolescent Care's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Anderida Adolescent Care is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Left to right: Directors Brian
Thompson, Erica Castle and
Kerry Shoesmith
Directors Kerry Shoesmith and Erica Castle and the wider
team at Anderida Adolescent Care have worked to
support some of the most vulnerable young people in
the country – individuals who are often either close to being
placed in a secure environment or have just left one. Overall,
the organisation supports 11 children across six homes and is in
the process of registering a seventh – most of which are located
in East Sussex. Directors tell
The Parliamentary Review
about the
Anderida philosophy and how they support local authorities.
Our provision comprises either single, dual or triple occupancy accommodation
with a crisis placement provision in Scotland.
Historically, we have always been able to reach families that other agencies can’t. In
order to build on this, we have continually adapted our approach and have focused
increasingly on the therapeutic nature of our work. Key to this was the adoption of
non-violent resistance.
Six years ago, we met Dr Peter Jakob, who introduced this approach to the UK.
We work with young people who are often out of control and display harmful
behaviour, including child-to-parent violence. In the face of these challenges,
Dr Jakob advocated a new approach developed in Israel by Dr Haim Omer. This
approach draws on the ideas of peaceful protest and reconciliation, such as those
advocated by Gandhi and Martin Luther King. We had already embraced a more
therapeutic approach and trained the staff team in cognitive behaviour therapy,
and so we were able to come to the model with a good understanding of the
»Directors: Erica Castle, Kerry
Shoesmith, Jane Bettley, Hazel
Pries and Brian Thompson
»Established in 1991 by Brian
»Based in Eastbourne with
homes across East Sussex
»Services: Residential care for
vulnerable adolescents
»No. of employees: 60
Anderida Adolescent
Highlighting best practice
thinking behind it. Key to CBT is
the impact of traumatic experiences
on young people and the need
to recognise and support them
compassionately and understand their
associated behaviours.
NVR focuses on improving the
relationship between the young person
and the care giver while increasing the
presence of parents and safe adults. It
involves unconditional loving gestures
and resisting punitive measures.
Instead of punishment, care givers
peacefully protest harmful behaviour,
highlighting behaviours that need
to change. This can take the form
of an actual protest, whether this be
a peaceful sit in the child’s room or
the organisation of a group coming
together at the home. This community
response brings together a variety of
people to form a support network
and emphasises the support the
This is a powerful therapeutic
approach and replaces the need for
sanctions or, at the most severe end
of the spectrum, police intervention.
The results of this approach have
been hugely encouraging. We have
noticed a higher uptake of individual
therapy from adolescents and have
also seen greater success in helping
children to return to their families.
Beyond this, instances of young people
being criminalised have significantly
decreased, and our own staff have
become more empowered, as they can
clearly see the positive effects of their
actions, or the benefits of acting even
if the gains are not immediate. As well
as supporting the children we care for,
our staff can identify the benefits and
appreciate their own effectiveness.
Following our adoption of this
approach, both Kerry and Erica sit on
the steering board of NVR UK, who
are working to formally accredit all
levels of qualification in this approach,
professionalising NVR in the UK.
A commitment to training
We have instigated a rigorous internal
training programme. Many years
ago, we became disgruntled with the
local resources for attaining NVQs,
and so we decided to establish our
own Assessment Centre. Our training
team are now able to offer diplomas
up to Level 5 in-house, using the
rich experience they have gained in
the field. We train all our staff to
foundation level of NVR and Level
3 Diploma in Residential Childcare.
All the senior staff take up the
Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and
Management, and most volunteer to
undertake the Advanced Practitioner
training in NVR. We achieve a high
rate of success for the completion
of these qualifications and have
constructed a highly trained and
experienced workforce. This level of
commitment to our staff has led to us
being one of very few organisations to
have achieved the Investors in People
platinum award, something we are
truly proud of.
Dining and lounge area
at one of Anderida’s
residential homes
This level of
to our staff
has led to us
being one of
very few
to have
achieved the
Investors in
something we
are truly
proud of
Ofsted and the need for
greater flexibility
One of the greatest challenges we
face is the overwhelming increase in
referrals. We have gone from receiving
approximately 40 a year over the last
three years to receiving 965 last year.
As children’s homes close across the
country, services are stripped from
health and social care resources that
support children to stay at home or
in fostering placements, residential
organisations become more stretched,
and waiting lists expand. Many of
these young people are then trapped
in the system, as no service will accept
them because of the amount of
time it takes to build trust and make
progress. This is not a criticism of the
services themselves but rather of the
wider environment in which Ofsted
criticises homes for the time it takes
them to turn around these extremely
traumatised and vulnerable children.
This leads to a perverse situation
where homes are incentivised not
to accept the children who need
support the most, which often leads
to these young people being placed
in unregulated services. This must
change, and more understanding is
needed from Ofsted that considers
these most-at-risk children.
Another challenge we face is
convincing regulators and authorities
of the necessity of our approach,
which is giving looked-after children a
“good parent” who is truly present in
their life, rather than placing them in
an institution where interactions are
governed by regulations and jargon.
Ofsted struggled to understand that
our sit-in technique is consistent with
that of a good parent who peacefully
talks to their child about their concerns
in the child’s space, but with the help
of our local MP, we have resisted
the unconstructive interpretation of
a regulation that prevented us from
employing this technique. Children
with the highest level of need have a
right to genuine parenting, and it is
essential that regulators recognise this
fact. Apart from this specific technique,
the way looked-after children are
treated more generally also needs to
be reassessed, as, currently, arbitrary
decisions are made about whether
they can see their families, including
siblings whom they have been
separated from, which refuse to take
into account changing circumstances.
While regulation is important generally
and keeps children safer, it is essential
homes are given the flexibility to meet
the needs of those they care for, and
this is something we will continue to
champion and fight for.
One of the
challenges we
face is the
increase in
referrals. We
have gone
from receiving
40 a year over
the last three
years to
receiving 965
last year
One of Anderida’s
residential homes

This article was sponsored by Anderida Adolescent Care. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development