The Impact residential therapeutic program has been designed for children who have experienced complex trauma that has severely impacted their capacity to function in their day-to-day lives.

Empirical evidence clearly shows that exposure to multiple and prolonged trauma in the early years of life can have profound and long lasting effects. This is especially true when unpredictable, inescapable and uncontrollable stress occurs in a young child’s primary care-giving system.

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Image by Matheus Ferrero
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There is mounting evidence that the damaging impact crosses all domains of development: cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and intrapersonal development and profoundly affects their day-to-day functioning. A child coming to Impact may:

  • disintegrate into extreme helplessness, confusion, withdrawal or rage when faced with any form of stress

  • be cognitively, emotionally and behaviourally chaotic

  • be unable to identify or express their own needs

  • be unable to ‘read’ the emotional content of communications with others

  • have cognitive impairments and other biological problems related to coordination, body tone and balance as well as sensorimotor developmental problems and other

  • medical problems

  • have problems with boundaries

  • feel displaced and alienated

  • have poor impulse control so they may behave in highly risky and/or sexualised ways

  • have impaired identity and deep feelings of shame.


The child may also have psychiatric problems such as symptoms of dissociation, somatisation, and character pathology, depression, eating disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, separation anxiety disorder or reactive attachment disorder.

Consequently, Impact’s program is designed to respond to each child’s needs for safety, recovery from trauma, belonging and dignity. Interventions are based on research-informed approaches and the ARC+C Therapeutic Treatment Model.

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