About Us

The BERRI has been developed by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Miriam Silver. It was informed by foster carers and residential care staff, care leavers and professionals. Dr Silver has a deep knowledge of the issues for children and families who have experienced adversity, abuse and/or trauma:

  • 20 years experience working with Children who are in Care, adopted or have complex needs
  • 16 years in the NHS, working in and managing CAMHS services
  • Expert to the family court in 250+ cases, including care proceedings and complex custody disputes
  • 5 years as national lead for LAC – British Psychological Society
  • On committee for NICE guidance for children with attachment difficulties and SCIE guidance for Looked After Children's mental health
  • Chapter lead for children with high social care needs in What good looks like in psychological services for children, young people and their families
  • Author of Attachment in Common Sense and Doodles, an acclaimed book on attachment and trauma (5000+ copies sold)
  • Trained over 1000 staff + given numerous conference keynotes

Learn more about Dr Silver LinkedIn, or learn about her opinions and experiences from herblog

Why did we develop BERRI?

The challenge is to improve outcomes for complex children, as current outcomes are poor. This is particularly true of children who are in public care: In current children's social care services outcomes are poor:

  • Attainments of LAC lower than rest of population
  • 50x Risk of homeless, addiction, prison, inpatient mental health, own children into Care
  • Ongoing cost to public purse (£2 million/care leaver)

But we also know that Adverse Childhood Experiences are a vulnerability factor that affect all sorts of health conditions, and socioeconomic outcomes for people.

It is doubly unfair that children who were the victim of adversity, abuse and/or trauma in their childhood go on to continue to have worse outcomes throughout their life. Our mission is to change this. We believe that such change starts with understanding the nature of the problem, and measuring what works.

Click here to find out more how BERRI was developed

Why do we need outcome measures?

When we are thinking about children in Care, adopted, on the edge of care, involved in criminal justice services, or who have poor school attendance (then existing text).

This is a highly complex population of children and young people who deserve the best possible care. Such care is expensive and paid for from the public purse. Looked After children go on to worse outcomes than their peers, which are also expensive to the public purse. Commissioners (and Ofsted inspectors) need to know that the placement is actively addressing the children’s complex needs, and is of the highest possible quality. Quality care is a worthwhile investment as it improves the life chances and long-term outcomes for children – something that also saves money in the long-term.

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At the moment most children’s social care services don’t use any validated outcome metrics. This means that we don’t know whether the placements and services are effective in making measurable change for the child. We can’t compare the outcomes from different types of placement or service, and we can’t tell whether commissioners are getting good value for money for the public purse.

The BERRI Provides Reliable Outcome Metrics:

  • identifies needs and tracks progress in complex children
  • provides a measure of efficacy, quality and outcomes
  • can show what works and can improve outcomes
  • can match needs to services or placements

Why use BERRI?

High level of satisfaction from service managers, care staff, social workers, commissioners, Ofsted inspectors.

Placements using BERRI can evidence an average 14% improvement in score for children’s needs over six months of using the pathway

This care pathway and the BERRI "set a new gold standard for our members" -
Jonathan Stanley, CEO of the Independent Children's Homes Association.

The BERRI is "the missing link in the residential care sector" -
Sir Martin Narey, government advisor who reviewed residential care in the UK.

see more testimonials