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Growing Together with MATTS

16th February, 2022

What is MATTS?

MATTS stands for Multi-disciplinary Assessment Treatment and Therapy Service. This is a bespoke therapeutic service provided to support children and young people, and foster carers.

The MATTS service is the equivalent of a community CAMHS service (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). The MATTS service was set up in recognition and support of CAMHS services being stretched and the need to support children and young people in foster care to establish long-term stability.

Here, foster carer, Lisa talks about the MATTS service and what a difference the support has made to her family.

I can’t convey strongly enough how invaluable the MATTS service has been for our family. Our whole household has completely changed with the help and support of the MATTS team.

How does it work?

The children in our care currently receive support through play therapy due to their age and we also spend time with their therapist to give them feedback from our point of view as to how things have been going in general.

We also have a therapist who works solely with us. They offer bespoke training on different areas that give us tools to help the children; for example, one of the subjects we have learnt about is therapeutic parenting. Having this support has changed the whole way that we parent. It has been surprising at how just a simple change in the way something is phrased has such a huge impact on the response of a child, especially when a child has been through trauma.

How have things changed?

Prior to having the support of the MATTS service, the children were very fearful and that showed in their physical presentation too. They never seemed to be able to relax properly at home, they were always on edge and hypervigilant.

Fast forward to now and they are so much more relaxed. They have a new security within themselves and have so much more confidence. We’ve had the children for 4 years, but the change in the last year with the MATTS support really has been phenomenal.

The children have just started to properly work through their past which is tough, but we know how vital it is for them to make some sense of this now rather than when they are adults. Starting to talk these things through seems to be such a release for them and they always seem a little lighter after their sessions.

Growing Together

The MATTS service is all about foster children and foster parents growing together because it helps us each equally and gives us the tools to enable the children to feel safe and be able to grow.

If you were to meet our foster children, you would see that they are just the most lovely and adorable children. There are challenges as a foster carer, but I would say to anyone thinking about fostering to get in touch.

The MATTS service at Capstone helps so much, and I believe keeps placements together that might have otherwise broken down.

Thinking of fostering?

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