Parallel Sessions ONLY , 13:40 -14:50 (UK time)

This is the booking page for the Parallel Sessions only of the Early Years Conference: The many faces of parenting infants. Find out more about this conference below.

Parallel Sessions  - All three sessions take place at 13:40 - 14:50 (UK time). Please note that you will only be able to book onto one session. To find out more about the Speakers for each session, please see below and/or the Conference timetable on the right-hand column. The sessions are as follows:

  1. Fathering and the parent-infant-relationship
  2. Wider family involvement and influences in the parenting task
  3. Families formed when infants are looked after

Please review the Conference timetable on the right-hand column. To book other areas of the day, or to book the full day including this parallel session, morning and afternoon plenaries, please visit the links below:

About this conference

This exciting online conference, held during Infant Mental Health Awareness week, will explore and celebrate the many people involved in raising children from conception to age five.  These parents and carers can be forgotten from professionals' minds and excluded from services, which ultimately impacts their parenting capacity, as well as the emotional wellbeing, mental health and development of their children.  

Most services and ways of working in the UK focus unconsciously on traditional, (hetero)normative and white British family structures.  This conference will highlight the impact that different family formations, background and identities have on parenting, caregiver-infant relationships and child development outcomes and how we can adapt to meet the needs of the range of families that we serve.  The conference aims to provide increased reflection and understanding about these families, as well as practical tools and skills that can be applied to our work with parents/carers and very young children, to support the mental health of both infants and their parents/carers. 


The day draws on the latest developments in research, parent-infant work and clinical intervention, as well as the lived experience of families. There will be significant consideration given to how to apply this knowledge to practice when working with different families, to make the day an experience that is both thought-provoking and enriching for professional development.

Who is this online conference suitable for?

This conference is suitable for any mental health clinician or early years practitioner who is working with families with children aged 0 – 5.  This includes professionals working in women’s health, birth and parenting services, perinatal teams, infant mental health, parent-infant services, adoption and early years services and settings.

Aims of the conference
  • Increased awareness of diverse family formations, identities, cultures and experiences.
  • Enhanced knowledge of the latest research on parents and caregivers from a variety of backgrounds and identities and the impact of this on family relationships and child development.
  • Increased awareness of different interventions, tools and skills, and how these can be applied to working with families.
Speakers and their talks

Fathering and the parent-infant-relationship

  • Dr Kim Alyousefi-van Dijk  

Trial Manager for the Circle of Security Intervention (COSI) study

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Anna Freud Centre

"VIPP-PRE: video-feedback for expectant fathers using live ultrasound images"



  • Professor Julie Poehlmann-Tynan

Child Clinical Psychologist

University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Dads in prison and their children"



  • Eloise Stevens; Alex Tsefos

Child Therapist and Clinical Researcher; Psychologist

Anna Freud Centre

“Mind the Dad: Supporting Fathers in the Perinatal Period”



Wider family involvement and influences in the parenting task

  • Vivienne Lewin

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist

British Psychotherapy Foundation

"Twins: a unique relationship and its implications for parents and psychotherapy"



  • Associate Professor Megan Dolbin-MacNab

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science

Virginia Tech

"Children raised by grandparents: Family and contextual influences on grandchild wellbeing"



  • Anna France-Williams

Media and Communications Specialist and Author

The Life Village and WaterAid

"It Takes a Village: How We Created a Circle of Support around Our Children from Birth"



Families formed when infants are looked after

  • Dr Sarah Peter

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

Anna Freud Centre

"The Good-Enough Group: The dynamics of digital space in an online psychoanalytic parent toddler group for adoptive families"



  • Professor Judith Harwin

Professor in Socio-Legal Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research

Lancaster University

“Special Guardianship and the Early Years: Opportunities and Challengers in Practice and Policy”



  • Sarah Fisher

Author and NVR Practitioner and Educator

Sarah Fisher Coaching/The Connective Parenting Hub

System requirements for conference

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

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

Details of how to join the event on Zoom will be shared closer to the event.

The self-directed learning is hosted on Blackboard. Please review if your browser supports this system prior to booking on.

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