Toys and Games for Looked After Children

“One young man was able to use the toy animals we purchased in his sand tray play to share with his therapist and foster carer how anxious he was about his future – something he had only been able to communicate through very aggressive and disruptive behaviour beforehand. By enabling us to understand what was going on for him internally, we could meet his needs better and this lead to great improvements in his well-being and behaviour. He is now doing really well across the board!” – Staff Member at Looked After Children’s Mental Health Service.

The Looked After Children's Mental Health Service sees children who are taken care of by the local authority, either with foster parents, with their parents under the supervision of social services or in residential children's homes. Looked after children are twice as likely than non-looked after children to get excluded from school and are five times likely to criminally offend. Only half of looked after children have what is considered normal levels of emotional and behavioural health and so the work of staff in the Looked After Children's Mental Health Service is extremely important.

Staff have used Heads On funds to purchase toys and games for the children to play with during their sessions. This has not only helped to put the children at ease, but it has increased the levels of trust between children and staff, helping them to build stronger relationships. Playing with these toys and games has enabled the children to express difficult emotions during therapy sessions and has created a safe environment in which they are more able to talk about traumatic experiences with staff.

 

Photo credit: yoppy via Foter.com / CC BY

How you can help

Whether you make a donation, attend an event or fundraise for us, every penny will help make life better for people with mental health problems.