“It was a revelation!”

Mercedes Strutt was one of six participants in “Foundations for Attachments” the caregiver training we trialled in Palmerston North in May.

Mercedes and her husband David – who are orginally from the UK – have been fostering in Palmerston North for the last three years. She attended “Foundations for Attachment” to help her develop her skills.

“The course was fantastic! It was a revelation,” she said.

“I think the PACE strategy is vital and it is just so useful in daily interactions with any human being!”

PACE is an acronym for playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, empathy. It forms the basis for a model developed by world-renowned psychologist Daniel Hughes Ph.D for relating with traumatised children and young people.

“What’s really crucial is that instead of jumping in and thinking… I know they’ve got these behaviours and I’m going to address them… first of all you just need to be engaged and listening and a safe person for them to be around,” said Mercedes.

“Another thing I found really interesting was the difference between shame and guilt and how those feelings manifest.”

Mercedes is also the co-founder of Mentored.org.nz – an organisation which aims to support children who are struggling at school because of problems at home.

Mercedes Strutt


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