Adopted and Care Experienced Team (ACE)

What the service is

“You are not alone – we are here to help”

The Adopted and Care Experienced Team (ACE)  is a small and specialist service that sits within Buckinghamshire CAMHS.

The service was formerly known as the Looked After and Adopted Children’s Service (LAAC).

We work with children and young people up until the age of 19 years (provided that the young person is open to CAMHS prior to their 18th birthday) who live in care or have been adopted. We offer carer support, individual work, training and groups.

What we offer

We see each young person and carer as unique and we work together to help everyone make sense of the current difficulties, alongside thinking about what is going well.

We think about relationships and focus our work on the goals of the young person and carers. We recognise that being in care brings its own challenges, which is why the team is highly skilled at engaging with children and young people who have a had a history of complex trauma and attachment difficulties. The team uses mostly mentalization-based approaches.

Expectations

One young person in care said that their expectation from the ACE service was to “teach us ways of coping, but not taking away what happened”.

When asked what they felt the ACE team expected of them whilst they were receiving support from our service, the young person said:

  • respect
  • to try to communicate in the best way you can
  • to let us know if things are going too quickly
  • let us know if you are not finding things helpful and when things are going well
  • what’s helped
  • to be there and not to miss sessions
  • if you’re not “feeling it” then being honest

Messages of hope

These are all quotes from young people and carers that have been through the ACE service. They represent stories of their journeys… their messages of hope!

“Seek as much professional help as possible, as children are a lot easier to look after than you realise with the right support and techniques, and it is much more enjoyable. The training does wonders, and if anyone is struggling, and had these sessions then they would be able to help out a lot more for the children they are looking after. It’s also good for general communication.”

A carer

“As much as it is difficult just try to be open as much as you can, as it has more benefit than bottling it up inside. Talking about it will really help you.”

A young person

“There’s always a brighter side. You have to get through the storms first.”

A young person

“There is a lot of help offered and despite a few negatives, the professionals are good people.”

A young person

Message for carers

“If you do notice something changing with the child you are looking after, or if they are shutting down a lot, try talking to them as it will really make a difference to you to know that they are there for you.”

A young person

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Page last reviewed: 24 November, 2023