We are a therapeutic home where we provide an environment that our young people can thrive in. The individualised therapeutic programmes are integrated in to every aspect of how staff work with each of our young people. They are supported by our therapeutic team of specialists and offer excellent continuity of care and strategies. Our ethos of positive reinforcement builds self-esteem and encourages and supports appropriate behaviour. We have a small mini-farm and an equine centre on site where young people are encouraged to interact and work with the animals. This increases self-esteem and improves empathy.

We offer a multitude of individualised therapeutic input to each of our young people. Through Art, Music, Mindfulness, Equine work and having a safe space to talk, our young people are supported holistically to become the best versions of themselves.

On arrival all our young people will have a 12-week settling in programme whilst our practitioner along with Daniel completes a full social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive assessment. They also complete an assessment of Functional living skills to inform the best possible program, tailored around the young person to cover every aspect of self and development to independence.

The main component in our approach is professional therapy and Daniel is our Consultant.

He delivers support and training to families, schools and support groups, and has presented at conferences worldwide. He has been working in the field of special education for 20 years. He has worked at the National Autistic Society, The Autism Partnership (in the UK and California), The Education Alliance (New York) and as a Senior ABA Consultant at the Treehouse school. He co-founded the TLC in 2010.

He holds a degree in Psychology from Birkbeck (University of London) and has completed post-graduate training in Family Therapy (Institute of Family Therapy) and Applied Behaviour Analysis (Florida Institute of Technology). He is currently studying for a M.Sc. in ABA at the Tizard Centre (University of Kent). He is a member of ABAI, APBA and UK SBA.

Daniel works in Headstart School and Residential Care. He works alongside staff and residents to monitor strategies put in place within their plans, following our assessments. Once the young person has finished their 12-week assessment and stabilisation period, working with the child we clearly define their objectives and outcomes and move them into a personalised therapy programme with relevant interventions tailored to their needs. This process is continually monitored to ensure that the child or young person receives the correct therapy to enable them to reach their goals and outcomes.

We will ensure the right therapeutic supports are put in place for each young person.
At Headstart we can offer:

• Individualised and therapeutically informed short-term goals through our care plans
• An individual behaviour support plan to include therapeutic strategies
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
• Mindfulness Training
• Occupational Therapy input into sensory strategies
• Sensory circuits
• Speech and Language Therapy
• Makaton
• Social Use of Language programmes
• Applied Behaviour Analysis interventions
• Lego therapy
• Talk time
• And any other therapy that we believe is beneficial to the young person

We also have within our team
• Educational Psychologist
• Clinical Psychologist
• Occupational Therapist
• Speech and Language Therapist
• Behaviour Analyst

Gael Barkworth

Gael Barkworth – Thrive Practitioner

Before joining Headstart Care I worked for 12 years in 2 different primary schools. My role changed over the years as I gained more experience and qualifications. I became a Thrive Practitioner in 2015 which gave me great delight. I worked closely with SEN and EBD children.

I joined Headstart Care a year ago and have since progressed from RSW to Senior Residential worker. After a short amount of time as Senior I was offered the in house Thrive Practitioner role which I gladly accepted. I am very passionate about my role and I feel very fortunate to be working within a therapeutic unit, caring for young people with additional needs and creating behaviour support plans tailored to each individual needs.

 I feel privileged to be working in a job I find so rewarding and to be working in this environment where I can help change young people’s life’s and make a difference.