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A practical approach to assessing children and families in court proceedings

This training presents a model of assessment of families in court proceedings that has been developed at Anna Freud for over 15 years.

About this training

This training offers a two-day training to all professionals involved in the assessment of children and families in court proceedings – both private and public. 

A multidisciplinary team of four trainers, representing clinical psychology, child psychiatry and adult psychiatry, will take you through the assessment process, step by step. From the point of receiving a referral, negotiating a letter of instruction, setting up network meetings with the family and system, to an individual assessment of children, parents and significant others. Day two focuses on the steps following the assessment and walks you through writing reports, including formulating realistic recommendations, sharing your professional opinions with the family and professionals and presenting your evidence in court.

Attendees will be encouraged to discuss their own case examples and the training will discuss the use of assessment methods, including specific tools to assess the individuals and relationships in the family. On day 2 they will be given the opportunity to hone their skills through undertaking a series of practical exercises, including presenting their evidence in court. The training will end with a plenary session in which participants are welcome to ask questions to the Anna Freud panel.

Aims of this training

Trainees will come away from the training with an understanding of:

  • A process of assessing whole families in the context of their culture and community developed at Anna Freud;

  • A model of relational assessments using a mentalizing stance with the child(ren) at its core;

  • A model of the assessment of parental functioning alongside and distinct from adult mental health disorders;

  • The impact on children and parents of developmental/complex trauma;

  • The impact on systems and clinicians of engaging with traumatised families;

  • The benefits of a team setting and/or peer consultation in ensuring the quality of assessment and recommendations;

  • The key considerations when presenting written and oral evidence to the Family Court.

Who is this training for?

This training is suitable for those commissioning or providing expert witness assessments for the Family Court as well as those working in the UK court and legal system including:

  • Social Workers

  • Guardians

  • Lawyers

  • Psychologists

  • Psychotherapists

  • Family Therapists

  • Psychiatrists

  • Other child mental health practitioners

The course is also particularly suitable for those interested in a model of multi-disciplinary team approach to undertaking these types of assessments.

There is a 15% discount available for three or more attendees booking together, please contact for more information.

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