There’s a misconception that ‘bad’ behaviours by young people in care mean they are ‘naughty’.

When a child is acting out, people judge them. They don’t realise it’s not their fault. People don’t look at the background and what has happened to them. They see bad behaviour. They don’t realise there’s always a reason for it.

What causes these behaviours?

Traumatic experiences can impact brain development and your ability to process emotions. Lots of our young people will identify with being angry or sad, but nothing between.

They experience things they don’t know how to label and as a result, they are unable to regulate these emotions. It’s important to remember the child isn’t being naughty. Rather, they’ve got big emotions and can become overwhelmed.

How can carers offer support?


These are the people we should trust most in the world. As a result of past experience, a young person has difficulty believing they are now safe.


It’s important to communicate about behaviour, not punish it.


Feeling a connection with their caregiver can be significant.

would know they were thinking of them. The little girl loved it.”


It’s important to use language to show them that they are part of the family. Take the word ‘placement’. When a child joins a family, it’s not their ‘placement’, it’s their home.