Childhood First is a charity for severely traumatised children and young people (aged 5 to 18). They provide specialist 24/7 treatment and therapeutic education for children with complex psychological, emotional, and behavioural needs. They have four residential children’s homes, a special school, and a therapeutic fostering service.
Childhood First's work is founded on their comprehensive therapeutic approach, Integrated Systemic Therapy (iST). iST is a form of group living and learning (modelled on healthy relationships), adapted to the developmental needs of children and young people suffering severe relational trauma. iST is supported by an extensive research and a training programme provided by the charity's Institute of Integrated Systemic Therapy. Outcomes are nationally benchmarked by the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC). Childhood First's care, treatment, and education staff all receive clinical training from the Institute, accredited by the UK Council for Psychotherapy and Middlesex University London.
Childhood First is a registered charity (no. 286909).