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The SECURE STAIRS framework: preliminary evaluation of the impact on therapeutic climate in a secure children’s home (SCH)

Annette McKeown (The Kolvin Service, Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Gemma Ramshaw (The Kolvin Service, Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Anna Smith (The Kolvin Service, Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Sarah Atkinson (The Kolvin Service, Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Patrick John Kennedy (The Kolvin Service, Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Safer Communities

ISSN: 1757-8043

Article publication date: 21 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The SECURE STAIRS framework for integrated care is a trauma-informed approach to supporting staff and young people within the Children and Young People’s Secure Estate (CYPSE) in the UK. Within secure settings, therapeutic climate is a concept that encapsulates an individual’s perception of safety, connectedness with others and level of support within the environment. To support evaluation of the SECURE STAIRS framework, a Secure Children’s Home (SCH) within the North East of England examined therapeutic climate for staff and young people annually using the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES) over a three-year period. This paper aims to present the findings.

Design/methodology/approach

Over the three years, a total of 71 young people and 214 staff EssenCES questionnaires were administered. Between 2020 and 2021, the setting also experienced significant changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Numbers of young people also decreased within the setting over the three-year period.

Findings

Results indicated a positive trend for therapeutic climate sub-scores. For example, Experienced Safety for young people significantly increased from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, therapeutic hold for staff was significantly higher in 2020 and 2021 in comparison to 2018.

Originality/value

Findings are discussed in relation to implementation of the SECURE STAIRS framework and providing trauma-informed care for vulnerable young people within secure settings. Implications for practice are explored.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the young people and staff at the Secure Children’s Home, and relevant stakeholders including CNTW, Durham County Council and NHS England.

Citation

McKeown, A., Ramshaw, G., Smith, A., Atkinson, S. and Kennedy, P.J. (2022), "The SECURE STAIRS framework: preliminary evaluation of the impact on therapeutic climate in a secure children’s home (SCH)", Safer Communities, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-11-2021-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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