About this webinar

Applying attachment theory in the criminal justice system 

Thursday 15 June 2023

This webinar is an opportunity to hear about attachment theory and what it means for practitioners working in the Early Years in England. As well as an overview of attachment theory, attendees will also hear about a critique of the theory, particularly from a wider social perspective and learn how to apply theory to practice in a culturally-sensitive way.

Speakers will use the criminal justice system as a case study of how to apply attachment theory in a real world setting but the take-aways will also be applicable to practitioners working in the wider early years.

Content will include the infant-caregiver relationship, perinatal mental health and the idea of equivalence of care (not being equivalent), and how attachment and mentalization-based theory can be used both in prisons and in communities with the wider family unit as well as the principle caregivers.

There will be short presentations from speakers as well as discussion and Q&A.


  • Prof. Peter Fonagy, OBE FMedSci FBA FAcSS PhD is Professor of Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science and Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, London
  • Kirsty Kitchen, Head of Policy and Communications, Birth Companions
  • Dr Christy Pitfield, Principal Clinical Psychologist and Clinical lead Perinatal Mental Health Service, Central and North West London NHS FT 
  • Dr Caroline Pontvert, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, Perinatal Mental Health Service - Health & Justice Services Directorate, Central and North West London NHS FT
  • [Chair] Claudia Coussins, Deputy Head of the Early Years and Prevention Department, the Anna Freud Centre
Who is this event suitable for?

The event will be open to anyone in the early years sector interested in attending. All early years practitioners are welcome including nursery managers and staff, childminders, children centre managers and any other childcare practitioners. Additionally, people who work in the heath, voluntary and community sector may be interested. 

Accessibility and registration

This event will include BSL interpreters. Interpretation will be available for those joining on a PC or laptop. There will be automatic subtitles available.

This event will take place on Zoom, a joining link will be sent to you closer to the event date. 

Registration will close at 13:00 on Thursday 15 June. Please book your place before this time to secure your place.

System requirements for online event

The online platform Zoom will be used to deliver this event. Prior to booking on, please ensure you meet the system requirements so you're able to join this webinar. 

Before the event, please test your equipment is working by going to and follow the instructions.

15th June 2023
  • Online - via Zoom (Joining instructions will be sent to the email address you booked on with at least one working day before the event)
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 16.30-18.00



The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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