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Child psychotherapist Christina Saltmarsh has taken up a new role with Community Foster Care.
She brings more than 25 years’ experience of working with children and further strengthens the therapeutic support offered to foster carers by the not-for-profit charity based in Staunton, Gloucestershire.
Christina graduated from University in Birmingham with a degree in psychology, and qualified as psychotherapist in 2004.
She now leads the Thinking Allowed specialist CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) team for looked-after and adopted children in Bristol.
“Community Foster Care has some very good outcomes for children,” she said. “I’d like to build on that by skilling up carers and helping them to understand some of the behaviours they might see in cared-for children which can seem out of place.
“There is something in the way that children survive trauma and abuse that affects the way in which they react to the world around them – if you haven’t experienced trauma yourself, it can be difficult to know how to respond.
“Carers are doing something that a lot of people would not do – they really put themselves on the line. That is tough and there are times when it is helpful to step back. At Community Foster Care carers already have a very supportive team around them. I am another bit of that team.”
Chief Executive of Community Foster Care, Mark Kingston, welcomed Christina. “We’re really pleased to have someone with Christina’s experience, approach and skills come and join the team. She’ll help us better understand the trauma and broken attachments which children experience and how that affects them,” he said.
“She will help parents to come up with solutions and children to overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences. She will also play a key role in providing expertise at times of crisis, enabling us to build both understanding and resilience and ultimately to promote security and love within the family.”
CFC provides foster carers and family support programmes for children and families all over Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.