TBRI® Success Stories

Over the past 10.5yrs we have passionately loved and cared for children from hard places within our home.  However, TBRI is now transforming the way we connect with and respond to these very troubled children and the challenging behaviours they present.  This model of caring is so practical and is proving effective in not just managing behaviour but bringing hope and healing to these precious children.
Karen & Graham

I have been attending TBRI® caregiver support group for just over six months.  I have nine years fostering experience with two girls in my permanent care (non-kin).  I have found the group I attend to be invaluable for support and learning the principles of TBRI®.  TBRI® is a powerful tool in helping to understand the complex needs of the children we have in our care. It has empowered me to be a better caregiver and given me strategies to help me in the journey of making a change in a young person’s life.  Thank you for the opportunity in this group Ursula. – Anthea

Looking back the changes are amazing!  We have not had a real meltdown in nine months where as before they were daily. – Jayne

As a home for life Mum to two children, the TBRI® classes have been an amazing source of support. When the children first arrived we were in survival mode with multiple meltdowns every day, no one was sleeping or eating, the children were violent towards each other, and things were getting broken. Now that I have been attending the classes for 6 months and putting the strategies into practice, we are able to go out, enjoy each other’s company and have fun together. We still have a lot of work to do, but we now have lots of hope for the future.  I read many books about fostering and adoption before the children came into my care, and I knew a little about what to expect in terms of the challenges ahead. What I didn’t know was what I could do to help. TBRI® provides an easy to understand model of what coming from a hard place does to a developing brain. But more importantly for me it provides practical strategies and guidelines detailing exactly what to do and say. We are all calmer, happier and much more connected. – Penelope *

As a mum of two biological children and a qualified Social Worker with 25 years’ experience in foster care, I figured I had all the skills needed to foster in my home. In May 2016 our family took in Tane who was an anxious, troubled and very distrustful four-year-old boy. We were his 5th placement. Two days after he arrived he began calling me “Mum”. He had been given a choice of other names to call me such as auntie, whaea, etc. but he insisted, “No you are Mum!”  Tane constantly expressed his frustration, feelings of rejection and worries by behaving violently; throwing things, refusing to comply with instructions and rejecting us. One day he said “I am bad” and drew a big black X on his paper, followed by saying “I don´t want to be a Tane, I´m a nobody.”  It was painful for me to see him so tiny yet in such distress.  Tane’s intense behaviours resulted in our nine-year-old son’s frustration getting to a point that he talked about wanting to “send Tane back”. Suddenly the world of my family was now in disarray and I realised that I needed help.  Asking for help…When I was feeling devastated and frustrated, not knowing what to do for Tane, I decided to call Ursula, and that was the turning point in this journey! She had just finished her training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) and she suggested a specific set of strategies to deal with the many challenges we were facing.  From that day on things started to get better. By having someone that understood what we were going through and utilizing a proven model that clearly outlines principles and approaches to gaining his trust, I was able to really connect with Tane.  One night at bedtime when Tane acted out that day, he said “I can´t go to the movies tomorrow, cause I´m bad.” By keeping in mind TBRI´s principles of Connecting, Empowering and Correcting, I was able to say to him: “You are NOT bad, you just made a wrong choice. That was in the past and tomorrow is another day.” Tane smiled at me and fell contently to sleep.  It´s been over 6 months since I started implementing TBRI®, and I can thankfully say that Tane is a happy child. He feels a sense of security and is no longer behaving like a lost child asking how long will he be staying in our home. He now deals with frustration appropriately, often being able to recognise his feelings and dealing with them in a non-aggressive way. Today, Tane is increasingly empathetic and is showing his affection to others. He’s doing extremely well at school, reading and writing at his level.  It makes me sad when I see good foster parents give up because they have not found effective strategies to deal with the often challenging behaviours of children who have experienced complex developmental trauma. I have found that success lies in having a support network and a user friendly therapeutic model – TBRI®.  It is a blessing to watch a child thrive and know you are the one who helped them.  –  Maggie*

I have been attending the TBRI® training for a few weeks now and the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. To me the most encouraging aspect is the unity of vision with all the members of our group. Although we are all on different journeys with different children, we are all engaging in the TBRI® philosophy to understand, improve and enrich the lives of children and young people in our care.  This is hugely exciting because as we learn and our children grow, we are also passing on the knowledge and tools we gain every week to our immediate and wider family networks. What a much brighter future we can hope for if we as adults can be the catalysts to empower and form true connection with the young lives we have the privilege to help shape. – Cindy

* Names have been changed to protect identity