FamilyForward utilizes a comprehensive and respectful approach to understanding child development and the impact of significant childhood trauma. We recognize that each child brings unique biological and genetic traits, relational experiences, and personality characteristics into every interaction with parents and other caregivers.
Formulate Better Insights, Achieve Better Outcomes
The agency’s overarching philosophy is based in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), developed by Dr. Bruce Perry. NMT is a trauma-informed, developmentally sensitive approach to understanding the impact of a child’s history on current functioning. NMT provides the structure to best recognize the presenting behaviors and needs of each child.
The human brain develops more rapidly between 0 and 5 years old than during any other subsequent period
For a child who experienced prolonged trauma those core brain structures formed to survive adverse experiences
This child is at high risk for emotional, behavioral, and relational difficulties
FamilyForward utilizes therapeutic interventions that can positively impact brain development
creating opportunities for safer, healthier functioning
and improved relationships for the child and family
- Utilizing NMT, highly trained clinicians complete an assessment of current functioning that helps generate a visual representation of the developmental strengths and vulnerabilities of a child.
- Based on this assessment, individualized recommendations are offered to support children at home, in school, and with therapeutic interventions.
- Just as child abuse and neglect negatively impacts the developing brain, therapeutic activities can alter the brain creating opportunities for healing, recovery, and the development of healthier functioning.
- In order to match the appropriate therapeutic interventions with each child’s needs, FamilyForward’s clinical team is trained in a wide variety of evidence-based practices.
- Services include individual, family, and group counseling.
- Therapeutic summer camps for children in the foster care and adoptive community help campers learn to manage emotions, cope with stress, and become more attuned to their own body signals in a fun and healthy environment. Registration is required. View the calendar and browse scheduled camps.
Parent Education Services
- Classes are specifically designed to address emotional, behavioral, and relational difficulties caused by early trauma in an honest environment that supports and encourages.
- The focus is not on controlling behaviors, but partnering with parents to understand their children and help improve the quality of their family life.
Eligibility and Consultation
- Children ages 0 to 19 with histories of chronic abuse or neglect early in life (before age eight), especially those who have not benefited from other more traditional therapies.
- Children in foster care or who have been adopted through the child welfare system.
- Children who experienced institutional care during infancy and early childhood (often adopted from other countries).
- FamilyForward was the first agency in the St. Louis region to become site certified in NMT and holds the distinction of being phase two NMT trained by the Neurosequential Network. Developmental Trauma Center clinicians are available to consult with family members, teachers, therapists, and other professionals to determine the appropriate timing, sequencing, and service delivery method for treatment. The assessment clinician will remain available for ongoing consultation and interpretation as the child’s caregiving team begins to work with the assessment results and recommendations.