3 days (without reliability test) 4 days (with reliability test)

About this course

Please note the training, tapes and presentation and the manual will be delivered in English

A growing body of research from different disciplines points to the importance of the early caregiving relationship in infant mental health. Difficulties in the parent-infant relationship have been shown to risk derailing critical developmental processes in infancy and beyond. It is vital in such circumstances that health professionals are able to identify aspects of the parent-infant relationship that are a cause for concern.

Professionals working within the field of infant development such as GPs, health visitors, social workers and community nurses are well placed to identify parents and infants where the primary relationship is in difficulties at the earliest opportunity. Grounded in the clinical practice of the Parent-Infant Project at the Anna Freud Centre, the Parent-Infant Relational Assessment Tool (PIRAT) has been specifically developed to enable a range of health professionals to observe and rate qualities of parent-infant interaction and identify infants at risk. It is a flexible tool designed for use in everyday practice, in the consulting room, clinic or home. PIRAT can be used as a risk assessment tool and to elucidate the quality of the parent-infant relationship: it is time-efficient to learn and provides a shared language for health professionals from various professional backgrounds.

  • PIRAT offers a systematic evidence based framework for assessing risk to babies with their carers
  • Focused on infants of 0-2 years, it offers a global rating of parent-infant and infant-parent interactions (affects and behaviours), which includes ratings of optimal behaviour and ratings of risk behaviour
  • Grounded in clinical practice, it has been adapted and developed to provide a flexible tool easily incorporated into the health professional’s toolkit of expertise and efficient to use in everyday practice, in the consulting room, clinic or home
  • Participants will learn the PIRAT manualised method of coding and assessing parent-infant interaction, using DVD material to practice the coding of the measure.

Optional Reliability Test

This training course is the first part of the reliability training. To receive PIRAT accreditation, participants can choose to take part in the additional reliability training day (Saturday, 18th June 2016) and complete the first reliability test which includes coding of 10 videotaped parent-baby interactions.

Feedback on the first reliability test will be provided before participants complete the second reliability set comprising 20 more parent-baby interactions. Reliability is tested on two levels, both the screening of risk and global reliability scores.

The course will cover:

  •  Early parent-infant relationships and infant mental health
  • Observation of parent-infant interactions
  • Coding videotaped parent-infant interactions on PIRAT
  • Use of PIRAT in professional, clinical and research settings

Who is this course suitable for?

Health professionals working with parents and infants, including GPs, social workers, health visitors, midwives, infant mental health workers, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, child psychotherapists and researchers in the field.

Aims of course

  • To teach health professionals the rationale for PIRAT and the techniques for its use.
  • To provide an overview of assessment measures in infant mental health.
  • To consider the use of PIRAT in professional, clinical and research settings.