Another hugely successful Best Practice Forum at the House of Lords

7th December 2018

Dr Miriam Silver, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Author of Attachment in Commonsense and Doodles: A Practical Guide

BERRI. Improving Outcomes for Complex Children

Dr Silver has 20 years of experience working with Looked After Children both in terms of assessing needs and working with professionals trying to help children recover from early trauma. Many children in the care system suffer from complex trauma or chronic developmental trauma having experienced multiple and / or prolonged developmentally adverse traumatic events, most often of an interpersonal nature, such as sexual or physical abuse, war, domestic violence etc. Outcomes for these severely damaged have historically been very poor. 

Dr Silver has been researching and developing a means for screening children in care to assess their specific needs, enable those caring for them to develop strategies targeted to address identified needs and to monitor the children’s progress. She argues that her approach is not only successful in terms of helping children recover from early adverse experiences but is cost effective and allows service managers to demonstrate progress. 

The BERRI explores five domains that influence placement and the services needed for any specific child: Behaviour; Emotional wellbeing; Risk (to self and others); Relationships; Indicators (of psychiatric or neurodevelopmental conditions). It is a simple questionnaire that can be used multiple times to monitor change and there is an automated on-line scoring and reporting system. It allows for the ability to track change over time and zoom in on specific issues.

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