2 days

About this course

We are currently refining the structure of this training in an online format and so the times and dates may change slightly. Participants will be notified of any changes with sufficient notice.

This course presents a model of assessment of families in care proceedings that has been developed at the AFNCCF over the last 15 years+. This model, built on the work of a Multi-Disciplinary Team and informed by a mentalization-based approach, retains a focus on the needs of the child, embeds reflective practice, enhances expert evidence and offers a supportive and safe environment for this complex work. Whether you work alone or within a team, this approach promotes the engagement of the child’s whole network as a core part of the assessment.

Participants will be encouraged to explore their own practice and bring case examples. Space will be given to considering how assessments might be experienced by parents, children and professionals. Participants will be supported to engage in a reflective group process.

The framework presented will inform the writing of/negotiating of Letters of Instruction. Approaches to assessment and use of assessment tools in relation to attachment experiences will be described. There will also be a focus on presentation of written and verbal evidence in court. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their strengths and weakness as authors of court reports with a view to identifying their key areas for development. They will also be given the opportunity to hone their skills through undertaking a series of practical exercises including court skills.

Who is this course suitable for?

All those commissioning or providing expert witness assessments for the Family Court including:

  • Social Workers
  • Guardians
  • Lawyers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Family Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other child mental health practitioners

The course is particularly suitable for those interested in a model of multi-disciplinary team approach to undertaking these types of assessments. A discount is offered for full-team training (at least 3 clinicians).

Aims of the course?

  • Have information about the clinical process we have developed at the AFNCCF as a model of working
  • Develop competence in using a team setting and/or peer consultation to improve the quality of assessment and evidence presented to the Family Court
  • Have enhanced capacity to identify issues to be addressed in these reports and to keep the child(ren) at the centre of this process
  • Develop the ability to accurately communicate theoretical principles such as attachment to a lay audience
  • Have improved ability to structure the writing of court reports and to produce succinct, clear and easy to read reports that are compliant with procedural requirements
  • Have sharpened capacity to express and argue opinions in a way that can withstand cross-examination

15% discount available for 3 or more participants booking together, please contact