We are a small group of therapeutic homes where we provide an environment that our young people can thrive in. The individualised therapeutic programmes are integrated in to every aspect of how staff work with each of our young people. They are supported by our therapeutic team of specialists and offer excellent continuity of care and strategies. Our ethos of positive reinforcement builds self-esteem and encourages and supports appropriate behaviour. We have a small mini-farm and an equine centre on one of our sites where young people enjoy interacting and working with the animals. This increases self-esteem and improves empathy.

We offer a variety of individualised therapeutic input to each of our young people. Therapeutic input in the home is integral to all our work. All our staff are trained in ABA and receive regular support and supervision from our professional therapists.

On arrival all our young people will have a 12-week settling in programme whilst our practitioner along with Daniel completes a full social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive assessment. They also complete an assessment of functional living skills to inform the best possible programme, tailored around the young person to cover every aspect of self and development to independence

Through art, music, mindfulness, 1:1 input from our therapists and having a safe space to talk, our young people are supported holistically to become the best versions of themselves.


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Daniel Horan

The main component in our approach is professional therapy and our inhouse Behaviour consultant.

He delivers support and training to families, schools and support groups, and has presented at conferences worldwide. He has been working in the field of special education for 20 years. He has worked at the National Autistic Society and  the Autism Partnership (in the UK and California), The Education Alliance (New York) and as a Senior ABA Consultant at the Treehouse school. He co-founded the TLC in 2010.

He holds a degree in Psychology from Birkbeck (University of London) and has completed post-graduate training in Family Therapy (Institute of Family Therapy) and Applied Behaviour Analysis (Florida Institute of Technology). He is currently studying for a M.Sc. in ABA at the Tizard Centre (University of Kent). He is a member of ABAIAPBA and UK SBA.

Daniel works in Headstart School and Residential Care. He works alongside staff and residents to monitor strategies put in place within their plans, following our assessments. Once the young person has finished their 12-week assessment and stabilisation period, we continue working with the child to clearly define their objectives and outcomes and move them into a personalised therapy programme with relevant interventions tailored to their needs. This process is continually monitored to ensure that the child or young person receives the correct therapy to enable them to reach their goals and outcomes.

Katherine Nanji

Katherine Nanji qualified as a Occupational Therapist with a First Class Honours degree with the University of Brighton and is currently in her final stages of completing a MSc in sensory integration therapy.  Occupational therapy is a vital intervention for children with additional needs. Occupational therapist take a holistic approach to therapeutic input, assessing physical, social, emotional , sensory and cognitive strengths and needs , to develop a customised therapy programme. . Katherine has experience of working with acute neurological patients, and patients requiring rehabilitative therapy within the NHS.  Katherine also has previous experience in treating children with autism in a main stream school and working in the mental health sector.

Prior to her occupational therapy career, Katherine gained a degree in Play Development and spent many years as a Play Development officer working with children in nursery, school settings and within the community, to develop play opportunities to ensure the children in her care were able to reach their full potential.  Children’s impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity and is fundamental to the healthy development ad wellbeing of individuals.  Katherine uses her knowledge and experience of play and combines this with her occupational therapy expertise to ensure every child has the ability to access therapy and develop.

Katherine also has extensive qualifications in personal training and fitness instructing and previously had a career leading a wellbeing team in the health promotion sector. Katherine was also one of the original Active Hastings community physical activity workers, responsible for encouraging communities to engage in physical activities and healthy lifestyles.  Katherine has versatile skills and experience to provide creative and original interventions for all of the children at Headstart. Katherine will be drawing upon her fitness training to ensure the children are given the appropriate physical activity opportunities required to improve physical, mental health and wellbeing.

I am proud to be the Occupational Therapist for Headstart.  Headstart has given me the opportunity to be creative in my role and utilise my skills, which will enable me to deliver a holistic, individualised original , evidence based approach to therapy.  This will ensure the children at Headstart  have every opportunity to thrive.

I am passionate in supporting the rights of a child and ensuring every child in my care is seen as an individual and treated with respect.  I am excited to be working in an environment where every child matters, and is acknowledged as being unique with individual needs.  I am confident, with the highly skilled team at Headstart that every child is given the opportunity to become the best version of themselves. 

We will ensure the right therapeutic supports are put in place for each young person.
At Headstart we can offer:

• Individualised and therapeutically informed short-term goals through our care plans

• An individual behaviour support plan to include therapeutic strategies

• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

• Mindfulness Training

• Occupational Therapy input into sensory strategies

• Sensory circuits

• Speech and Language Therapy

• Makaton

• Social Use of Language programmes

• Applied Behaviour Analysis interventions

• Lego therapy

• Talk time

• therapy that we believe is beneficial to the young person.

We also have within our team:

• Educational Psychologist

• Clinical Psychologist

• Occupational Therapist

• Speech and Language Therapist

• Behaviour Analyst


I have found the staff at Headstart to be extremely knowledgeable and skilled, particularly in building effective, supportive and trusting relationships with young people. They are highly organised and provide a high standard of care, which promotes collaborative multi-agency working. RL social worker

Gael Barkworth: Thrive Practitioner

"Before joining Headstart Residential Care I worked for 12 years in 2 different primary schools. My role changed over the years as I gained more experience and qualifications. I became a Thrive Practitioner in 2015 which gave me great delight. I worked closely with SEN and EBD children.

I joined Headstart Residential Care a year ago and have since progressed from Care mentor to Senior Care mentor. After a short amount of time as Senior I was offered the in house Thrive Practitioner role which I gladly accepted. I am very passionate about my role and I feel very fortunate to be working within a therapeutic unit, caring for young people with additional needs and creating behaviour support plans tailored to each individual needs.

 I feel privileged to be working in a job I find so rewarding and to be working in this environment where I can help change young people’s life’s and make a difference".


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