Coastal Child and Adult Therapeutic Services

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For the second year running, CCATS have won ‘Employer of the Year’ at the Wyre Business Awards! We are honored to win this award again, which reflects the hard work of the team who are delighted with the award. The trophy will take pride of place alongside our 2018 trophy and recent Investors in People win.

The Employer of the Year category is judged in respect of an open and inclusive work culture, inspiring leadership and management, staff training, retention and recruitment, innovative working environment, and encouraging young people to work in the organisation through apprenticeship or training schemes.

The celebration event was attended by over 300 business people from across the Wyre area. The judging panel included Steve Newsham, Reginal Director at The Regenda Group, and Scott Carswell, Site Director at NPL Group Hillhouse Technology Enterprise Zone.

Further details can be found on the Wyre Council website.

We are delighted to announce that CCATS have won the ‘Employer of the Year’ award from Investors in People! CCATS was shortlisted along with 10 other UK organisations for the award, which was announced on 19 November 2019. This award relates to the silver category for organisations of up to 49 people.

Investors in People are an independent not-for-profit organisation who are widely recognised in the UK and internationally for setting people standards in organisations.

This awards marks a significant achievement for the team. Julie Kershaw, CCATS Service Manager, said: “As I said when we found out we had been nominated, this achievement is totally about the CCATS team as a whole and the ethos of our organisation. I am so proud that we, as a team, have achieved this.”

The CCATS win will also feature in the Investors in People newsletter.

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist in two categories for the Wyre Business Awards 2019! The Wyre Business Awards celebrate achievement and success among businesses and organisations in the Wyre area.

For the second year running, CCATS have been shortlisted for “Employer of the Year” – in 2018, CCATS won in this category. We are also pleased to have been shortlisted for the “Corporate Social Responsibility Award”, which recognises an organisation’s positive impact in the local community, society or environment, and a strong commitment to social responsibility.

Finalists were chosen from many nominations across 22 award categories. The CCATS team are very proud to have been listed for this award, where people are at the heart of everything we do.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in Fleetwood on 5 December 2019.

Coastal Child and Adult Therapeutic Services are pleased to be holding a free Workshop event: Vicarious Trauma: Supporting Practitioners who work with traumatised clients. The workshop will take place at our Poulton office on Tuesday 19th November. Registration will be at 9:30am for a 10:00am start. The workshop will finish at 2:00pm.

This one day workshop is designed for practitioners who work with people who have experienced trauma, or for anyone who has an interest in this area.

The workshop will be delivered by Sam Keeley, a Forensic Psychologist in Training based at CCATS. Sam works with child, adolescent and adult clients in community services, providing therapeutic intervention and assessment. He also provides consultancy and support services for the residential care sector. He has experience delivering training in this and other areas. He is also an EMDR practitioner.

Coastal Child and Adult Therapeutic Services (CCATS) has been named as a leader in how they support their people to do their best work and go home feeling happier, healthier and stronger.

Being shortlisted in the Employer of the Year: Silver (up to 49 people) category in The Investors in People Awards 2019 is a fantastic achievement and something everyone at Coastal Child and Adult Therapeutic Services (CCATS) is really proud of.

Looking after your people is something that matters to all of us, and that’s why these awards are so special. These are the companies really getting it right. The ones we’re all learning from. The ones with new ideas.

Julie Kershaw, Service Manager at CCATS, commented: “We are really pleased that we have reached the finals, along with only eleven other companies! This achievement is totally about the CCATS team as a whole, the way everyone works together and supports each other and, as always, we can’t thank everyone enough for all their hard work and commitment to CCATS.”

Tickets to the awards ceremony are publicly available on the Investors in People website from the 12th September 2019. The full shortlist and more information about Investors in People can be found on that website.

We are pleased to announce that CCATS are holding a one day training workshop on child sexual exploitation at CCATS offices on Thursday 27 June from 9:30am to 4:00pm.

The event is designed for practitioners who work with children and adolescents, or for anyone who has an interest in the area. The workshop will be delivered by Dr. Kirsty Alderson, a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist based at CCATS. Kirsty is undertaking a PhD and has published in the area of child sexual exploitation. Her PhD findings were presented to the Home Office.

The cost of this one-day event is £60 (excluding VAT). To book on to the workshop, please contact Richard Noble at

Members of the CCATS team receive the award. Photo courtesy of Mel Jones Photography Ltd.

We are delighted to announce that CCATS have won “Employer of the Year” at the Wyre Business Awards 2018!

The celebration event was attended by over 280 business people from across the Wyre area. The judging panel included Steve Newsham, Reginal Director at The Regenda Group, and Scott Carswell, Site Director at NPL Group Hillhouse Technology Enterprise Zone.

This award is a testament to what we have accomplished as a service over the years, and the entire team are extremely proud of this achievement!

Further details can be found on the Wyre Council website.

The CCATS Conference “Excellence Driven” was held on 28 September 2018 to showcase some of the excellent work that is being undertaken by the team. A summary of the talks are presented below.

Kirsty Alderson introduced the work of CCATS as a therapeutic service and outlined some of the provision and support on offer to children and adults. This was followed by a talk on her PhD research around child sexual exploitation and the implications for working with young people. The talk discussed the gaps in current knowledge around vulnerability and protective factors relating to child sexual exploitation, as well as how the literature could be utilised to provide quality assessment and interventions for those who are vulnerable, or those who have experienced sexual exploitation.

Dr. Carol Ireland presented on both risk assessment and staff exposure to trauma. The first talk discussed the expectations that should be met when completing risk assessment/psychologically informed reports, and the importance of evidence-based formulation to inform later therapeutic engagement. Dr. Ireland’s second presentation covered the findings of a systematic review into staff exposure to trauma when working with young people in care. It identified five main themes: (1) Lack of organisational support; (2) Lack of health work-life balance; (3) Lack of appropriate training; (4) Failure to use self-care techniques; and (5) Staff failure to share when they are experiencing symptoms.

Sam Keeley provided an overview of radicalisation based on the latest available evidence. It covered definitions and the nature and development of radicalisation, signs of potential radicalisation, and suggested courses for action.

Suzanne Bowden’s presentation focused upon the core components of the Life Minus Violence – Enhanced (Aggression and Harmful Sexual Behaviour) programme, an evidence based therapeutic intervention for adolescents and adults.  An overview of each module was presented and attention given to the theoretical underpinnings along with key components of the therapeutic approach.

The day was well-received and demonstrated the wide range of work that CCATS undertake with both children and adults.

We are pleased to announce that one of our Forensic Psychologists, Dr. Carol Ireland, has released her new book, “The Routledge International Handbook of Forensic Psychology in Secure Settings”.

The book, by Dr. Ireland and colleagues, includes international contributions from authors in the UK, US, Australia and Canada, and covers key psychological issues facing secure prisons and forensic hospitals. Topics covered include:

  • Forensic populations and wider issues relevant to offending populations;
  • Treatment options for a variety of offending populations, such as sex offenders, fire setters, domestic violence programmes and those with personality disorders,
  • Staff and workplace issues, including supervision and psychological effects of working in secure environments;
  • Contemporary issues facing forensic populations, such as terrorism, crisis negotiation and gang membership.
  • The book combines theory and practical applications throughout, which makes it an essential read for any student, researcher or practitioner in forensic psychology or criminology, as well as those involved in social care and policy.

To order a copy and for more information, visit the publisher Routledge’s website. A 20% discount is available using FLR40 at the checkout.

Over the summer, OFSTED completed inspections in three specialist homes where CCATS provides therapeutic support for young people with harmful sexual behaviour. It was encouraging to note that our therapeutic role was viewed very positively in all three reports. Broadly, OFSTED found that:

“In-house clinical therapy… supports young people in their journey to becoming increasingly safe within the wider community, and enables them to benefit from improved emotional well-being and happiness.”

The collaborative approach that CCATS and other colleagues in the home adopt was praised in the reports. OFSTED noted:

“Cohesive and effective working relationships between care staff, education staff and clinicians ensure that young people receive an individual and holistic package of support to address their identified needs. This high level of care and positive multi-agency working ensures that young people make progress from their individual starting points.”

CCATS, along with the residential homes, adopt an individualised approach to manage risk and bring about positive change in the young people. OFSTED found our therapy to be flexible, in that work with young people is consistently reviewed to ensure progress is being made at an achievable pace, any immediate concerns are addressed, and interventions evaluated in terms of their effectiveness. Young people were found to engage positively with CCATS sessions:

“Children engage meaningfully in their sessions to explore emotionally challenging past experiences, and build healthier strategies to help regulate their emotions and increase their resilience.”

Furthermore, OFSTED commended CCATS therapy in meeting young people’s areas of risk and need within their individualised therapeutic programme:

“Therapists work with the children and staff to develop strategies to support safe progress towards their goals. The highly effective planning and proactive safeguarding practice contributes to a significant reduction in risk and, consequently, to children’s sense of safety and stability.”

In particular, OFSTED provided one example where staff and therapists worked together to prepare a young person for family contact:

“Staff are willing to ‘go above and beyond’ to support children to enjoy positive contact with their families. Some exemplary work was in progress at the time of the inspection to prepare a child to attend a family celebration. Staff and therapists had worked with the child to develop cue cards so that he can discreetly seek help if circumstances become challenging.”

CCATS prides itself on evidence-informed practice, and we are keen to apply and integrate our knowledge to improve outcomes for young people. This was recognised in the OFSTED reports, which noted that our therapy was “integrated into the planning of the positive behaviour support model used in the home’s practice.” This supportive model builds young people’s sense of self-esteem and identity, recognising areas of strength and celebrating achievement.

It would not be possible for CCATS to receive such favourable comments from OFSTED without the support of our dedicated and professional team. Moving forward, we will endeavour to maintain these high standards in our work within the residential homes.