The Knightlamp Approach

The Knightlamp Approach

The Knightlamp Approach is a model of therapeutic care that can be tailored to meet the needs of a residential care or foster care program, as well as other settings such as youth custodial and correctional programs. We have adopted years of practice wisdom, and the learnings from therapeutic care models and evidence around the world, into an effective an economic framework that is simple to understand and put into practice.

Safety- Healing- Connection

As with the internal recovery of the child is sequential, so too, our approach to a young person entering into the program is sequential, and moves through the emphases of Safety, meaning both real and perceived, Healing, meaning the development of a positive internal working model, lowered arousal, and increased self worth, through to Connection, to themselves, family and community, encompassing vocational activities. This approach provides guidance to a situation where, for example, a young person is not attending school.

Knightlamp's proven methods of training and coaching assist the staff to become confident practitioners as they internalise a model that enables them to facilitate real outcomes in young people under their care.

Measurable outcomes help to gauge the success of the program over time, as the whole care team becomes a cohesive effort toward clear objectives focussed on:

  • Healing
  • Increase in health indicators and hopefulness
  • Reduction of maladaptive behaviours
  • Positive staff culture
  • Retention of staff and carers
  • Congruence of approach


Context of The Knightlamp Approach

The Knightlamp Approach draws from child development and psychodynamic theories. A fundamental premise of a trauma informed approach is that children and young people who have had early lives characterised by developmental trauma arising from profound abuse and neglect are affected on many levels of functioning: such experiences provide the organising environment for their neurobiological patterning and their attachment experience. As a consequence, their developmental trajectory is compromised at many levels.

The traumatic impact of abuse and neglect on brain development and attachment capacity and the correlation between this and challenging behavioural presentations is now understood more clearly. A majority of the out of home care client group are suffering the effects of complex trauma and that this gives rise to the behaviours which we find so challenging to manage in the out of home care system. It is necessary to employ a specialised set of approaches and techniques to more effectively respond to the needs of these children.

A therapeutic residential care approach grounded in Trauma and Attachment theory offers a number of significant benefits:

  • A theoretical framework that provides a best ‘fit’ response in terms of understanding and interpreting the challenging presentations of the client group
  • A theory based model of practice that has been applied in other settings, which has been rigorously evaluated and endorsed in Victoria and is showing promising outcomes in pilot programs in other states (NSW, Qld).
  • A framework which incorporates a number of demonstrably effective techniques that can be employed to respond to and address these presentations
  • A theoretical framework which is readily understandable and teachable to residential carers and able to be delivered as an in-house training package
  • Techniques for addressing behaviour that are relationally based and respond to underlying issues in a way that re-focuses carer understanding of behaviour (what the child does) as a reflection of underlying trauma (what has been done to the child). This re-framing has a demonstrably empowering impact on both carer and child and when utilised, is effective in assisting to extinguish rather than reinforce challenging and self-defeating behaviours.
  • A long term improvement in the quality of the capacity of the child to form attachments and, consequently, a reduction of the child’s need to unconsciously sabotage potential relationships by re-enacting the trauma and harm experienced in prior and first relationships.
  • An approach which is therapeutically intentional and coherent developmentally aligned, holistically and environmentally based.

Knightlamp provides a timed approach that works toward an internally sustainable a program that can economically retain its effectiveness and integrity.

"Some of the many endearing attributes of Knightlamp consultants include their ability to 'connect' immediately with support workers and management to convey what is often complex theory into simple and practical applications that really work. Their commitment and dedication is unquestionable and we would recommend these professionals to any organisation that truly wants to make a positive difference to the lives of children in care"

Peter Marino, CEO, Alternate Care QLD

Referees (past and current clients of our therapeutic care model) can be made available.

Contact us to discuss your specific challenges and needs.