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Terms explained


A carer in this guideline means someone who looks after a child or young person in their care. This could be a parent (birth or adoptive), foster parent, close relative, special carer or guardian.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (sometimes called CBT) is a type of therapy in which you are encouraged to talk about how you think and behave with a therapist. The therapist helps you understand what is making you feel or do things in a certain way, and will help you to try and think in different ways to help make you feel better. CBT is a type of psychotherapy.


Depression is feeling sad, lonely, down, anxious or stressed for longer periods of time so that affects your everyday life.

Designated teacher

The designated teacher in a school will know about the children in that school who are in care, and if any of them have attachment problems. They will also know all the important details of who to contact (parents, carers, social care professionals).

Key worker

This is a person in school (sometimes called an advocate) who a child or young person can go to for help and support who will back them up, and who will put their views and wishes across to health and social care professionals.


A placement is the name for where a child or young person lives when they are in care. This could be with friends or relatives, foster parents, or in a children's home.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (often called PTSD) is a problem caused by a person having very stressful, frightening or distressing things happen to them. This could be violence, abuse, robbery or a bad accident. It can also happen when someone sees distressing things around them, like people being killed in a war, even if they aren't hurt themselves. The person with PTSD may have nightmares, feel scared and tense all the time, or keep reā€‘living what happened.


Psychotherapy is a type of therapy where you talk about how you feel either with a therapist on your own, or sometimes with a group of people who feel the same way or are in the same situation so you can share your experiences.

Safe place

A safe place in school is a special quiet room or area where a child or young person can go when they feel scared, worried or upset.

Video feedback

Video feedback is where a carer and child or young person are recorded interacting together on video. The social care professional then watches it back with the carer and sometimes the child or young person too. This helps the carer can see how they react and behave with the child or young person, and the social care professional can give help on how to change any behaviour that could cause problems.

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