We are passionate about the difference BUSS can make to the lives of children, young people and their families.
“Our vision is to reach more children so that one day consideration of a child’s foundation sensorimotor systems will be a core part of the assessment of every child who comes into care.”
Our intention is that the BUSS model can enhance the practise of professionals working with children who have been or who are looked after. It’s not intended to be an alternative to other ways of working, but rather to sit alongside the skills and expertise of professionals working with children. We have developed a training programme for professionals who wish to develop their skills in using this model with children and families so that we can be sure that the high standards that we set and fidelity to the model are maintained. All accredited practitioners must have their BUSS work supervised by a BUSS Consultant.
We know that parents are the experts on their children and our team feels privileged to work alongside families, offering our lens and expertise about child development and trauma to their knowledge and understanding of their child. It’s families who can rebuild underdeveloped systems, not therapists. Our job is to give parents the understanding and skills so that we can work together to develop a programme for each child that is right for them and for their family.
We are keen to promote parents as supporters for each other as families work with us, and currently have two parents who, as well as having additional training in the model, are experts by experience. We’re really delighted to have Vicky Holland and Lindsey Champion working as part of our team and would welcome other parents and carers becoming involved in these mentoring roles. You can read more about Vicky and Lindsey here.
Over the last three years, we’ve worked with well over a hundred families through the Oakdale Centre. It’s been great to see the impact of helping families to understand the effect that their child’s early experiences has had on their bodily regulation, and then to be able to work with them to rebuild those systems.
The team of Oakdale BUSS practitioners work with children and families from Yorkshire as well as further afield. We offer face-to-face work with families and have also developed a model for working remotely with families for whom this would not be a possibility. The Oakdale BUSS team is a multidisciplinary team and the wealth of experience that we have within this team, from Child Psychology and Child Psychotherapy to Specialist Social Workers and Occupational Therapists, brings a richness that’s of great benefit to families. We’re also working with professionals from education and an early years specialist, adding an understanding of BUSS to the way they’re thinking about and working with children in schools. It feels a really exciting time to be part of developing the BUSS Model and we’re always keen to meet people who are interested in training and joining the work that we’re doing, please get in touch with us at info@BUSSmodel.org.
Sarah has done introductory training for several thousand people, ranging from local authorities in different parts of the country, to independent adoption and fostering agencies, a CAMHS secure setting, and education.
2020 saw the beginning of BUSS training for professionals. Having worked with Birmingham Children’s Services over the last two years, training over two hundred professionals and parents in their fostering and adoption teams, they were proud to be the first authority to commission Level One training for key staff and parents in their service, beginning in September 2020. Unfortunately COVID meant this had to be postponed until June 2021, but we’re keen to get started!
Calderdale Virtual School were hot on their heels, having started 2020 with a fantastic introduction to the BUSS model day for over one hundred staff from education, CAMHS, social care, foster carers, portage workers and fostering and adoption services. Level One and Level Two training will also be provided during the course of 2021.
After 4 years of working with the lovely team at Adoption Plus in Milton Keynes, introducing them to the BUSS model and offering training through their training department, we’re delighted to be planning a Level One Training there in Autumn 2021. Other upcoming trainings are all detailed here.
In Sarah’s NHS work, commissioned by Jane Mischenko, Children’s Commissioner, she has set up a partnership with Leeds Virtual School and Meadowfield Primary School in Leeds to work with children who are looked after before they start school.
The virtual school funded a pilot of early intervention BUSS programme for pre-school children who are looked after, working in partnership with the virtual school and Meadowfield Primary School. We are now a small team including specialists from education and the therapeutic social work team working from Meadowfield.
Piloting this work has provided an opportunity to:
Children were followed up into their host schools and support given to the schools to continue the work on building sensorimotor systems.
We’ve currently run one cohort of this intervention, and evaluation is being conducted by University College London. Initial results look promising and funding has been agreed for this project to continue, lowering the starting age of the children to two years. It is hoped that this work could be developed in other areas, offering a combination of training and joint work.
Alex Clark, Associate Headteacher at Meadowfield School:
“BUSS has had a much wider impact in our school than the school readiness programme. Staff who were involved in LEAPlets began to identify children who were looked after or vulnerable across the school whose foundation sensorimotor systems were underdeveloped and who were really struggling with the demands of the classroom and playground. We’d noticed how much they seemed to struggle in terms of attention and focus, but started to look more closely at what their core stability was like – whether part of the problem was that they were having to use a lot of energy just sitting in their chairs or writing. We worked with Sarah to develop a ‘Core Body Builders’ group that took in children across the classes in key stage two, and started working in school to fill in the gaps in their foundation sensorimotor systems. We were quite shocked to see how many gaps there were for some children, and really pleased that we’d decided to pay attention to it and are seeing real benefits to this approach. We’re also surprised by how intuitive it now feels and we wonder why we didn’t know this before!
In the early years we trained all staff in BUSS and made a decision to take out all desks and chairs, so that their whole environment involved floor-based play and learning. PE is completely geared around BUSS and helping to build good bodily regulation as a platform for learning, friendships and play.”
Jancis Andrew, Head of the Virtual School:
“Investing in this work to realise a positive impact on educational outcomes for children who have experienced care is something I envision becoming an embedded part of the ‘offer’ for looked after children in the early years.”
The Children’s Commissioner in Leeds, where Sarah is based for her NHS work, wrote:
“In just a short period of time Sarah has had a tremendous impact in Leeds in developing and testing out the BUSS model. It is one of the best decisions I have made to support her secondment. The BUSS model and impact this is having is recognised by our strategic boards where she has presented her findings.”
All therapy is done in partnership with the Oakdale Centre who are an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), meeting their robust professional and ethical standards.
In addition, all practitioners working at the Oakdale Centre and on the BUSS programme are required to be members of their relevant professional body and adhere to their standards and guidelines. All parent mentors have DBS clearing suitable for their role in supporting families.
The Oakdale Centre is an accredited provider of adoption support services by all fifteen local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber.
We collect information in the following ways:
When you interact with us directly: This could be if you register with us to attend training or an event organised by BUSS, if you visit us for therapy, or otherwise provide us with your personal information.
When you visit our website: We gather general information (not personally identifiable information) which might include which pages are visited most often and which services, events or information are of most interest to our web site visitors.
The personal information BUSS at Oakdale collects includes details such as the name, date of birth, email address, postal address, telephone number and sometimes also the credit or debit card details of our clients and customers (if you are booking a place on a training course or paying privately for therapy provided by BUSS at Oakdale). Personal information may also include details shared with us during the course of any therapy provided by BUSS at Oakdale.
We use this information:
The personal information we hold about you will only be used by our staff and any affiliated practitioner(s) involved with the provision of any therapy you receive. This is done in order to best support you and the clinical management of your case.
Any information you provide to BUSS or Oakdale will be treated in confidence and we do not pass any details to anyone else without express permission other than in exceptional circumstances. For example, if we become aware that someone presents a clear and serious risk of harming themselves or others.
We will never sell or share your personal information with any third party organisations so that they can contact you for any marketing activities.
We take our responsibility to look after your information seriously. We maintain physical, technical and organisational policies and procedures that protect all personal information we hold from improper access, use, alteration, destruction or loss.
We only retain personal information for as long as is reasonable and necessary for the relevant activity. In circumstances where someone has received therapy with Oakdale we comply with all statutory obligations relating to the proper time-frames for storage of clinical information.
You have rights in respect of the personal information we hold about you:
If you have any queries about your case or would like further information about our privacy practices, please contact our Data Protection Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to make a complaint about how Oakdale has handled your personal data you can do so by contacting email@example.com or writing to us at Oakdale, 49 Valley Drive, Harrogate, HG2 0JH.
You can also make a complaint to to the data protection supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, https://ico.org.uk/
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