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Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) for Fostering & Adoption: Reflective fostering

18th June 2020 19th June 2020


The Kantor Centre of Excellence, 4 - 8 Rodney Street, London, N1 9JH Map
2 days
09.30 - 16.30



Training fee without access to MBT Online Training


Training fee including access to MBT Online Training

Places available

About this course

We have developed a new approach to working with children and young people in foster care (called Reflective Fostering), to try and support their emotional wellbeing more effectively. Reflective Fostering aims to promote the quality of relationships, support effective and sensitive foster care, and help carers to help the child in their care understand and manage emotions better. The focus is on improving the core components of secure attachment, including collaboration, and parental (or carer) reflective capacity. The Reflective Fostering approach pays particular attention to developing reflective practice for all professionals working with LAC.


This course is designed for anyone working with LAC in either a social care setting, mental health setting or private fostering setting. The course introduces social workers to a model for working with foster parents using mentalization. The emphasis is on helping social workers support foster carers to mentalize the children they are caring for.

This two-day course has a strong emphasis on understanding relational and developmental trauma and working within a practical trauma-informed model (STORM) with a looked after child and the carers supporting them. This model was developed by Janne Ostergaard Hagelquist from the Centre for Mentalization in Copenhagen, the co-trainer with Dr Sheila Redfern (developer of Reflective Fostering) on this course. It is designed as a central tool for use in the work with neglected and traumatized Children and Adolescents.

There will be a theoretical and research background to the issues facing children in care who have experienced trauma and neglect followed by a focus on how the principles of mentalization can be applied, and adapted to this group of children with particular difficulties in emotion regulation and perspective-taking. Strategies will be practiced, which can help unstick conversations with foster carers and help them become more mentalized. The key difference between this and other trainings is the focus on the need to pay particular attention to the foster carers’ state of mind and to support them in increasing and then maintaining a reflective and emotionally regulated stance, in the face of high conflict or emotional disturbance in the child.

The course introduces specific carer techniques associated with a mentalizing stance, to enhance foster carers/adoptive parents' confidence as well as to bring a reduction in difficult and aggressive behaviours.  Participants will be asked to practice techniques in small groups.

 Who is this course suitable for?

The course is suitable for anyone working with LAC in either a social care setting, mental health setting or private fostering setting. It would work particularly well where managers want to train up a whole team in a mentalizing approach. Local Authority Looked After Children Services may wish to initiate participation in the training for groups of foster parents following care proceedings.

It is also of relevance and interest to professionals working with adopted children or in the court arena. If you are interested in commissioning this training locally, please email

For those booking onto this training after July 2018, it will be a requirement that attendees of this training must complete the MBT Online training before the training start date. You will be given access to the Online training one month before the training start date. Please note access to the training will be granted once full payment is received. The Online training consists of a series of short videos that span four hours and cover the theory of MBT and so it is essential that you watch these prior to the training. If you do not complete these, you will not have the theoretical knowledge to get the most out of the training you are scheduled to attend. The content of the Online training will not be covered in the in-person training. If, for any reason, you require access to the Online training sooner than one month prior to the training start date, please let us know and we will be able to grant you access. Please note that training places must be paid for in order to be granted access to the Online training.

 Aims of the course? 

  • To introduce a mentalizing stance to any professional working with LAC in order to help stabilize placements and help manage the emotional and behavioural difficulties of children in care.
  • To help professionals working with foster carers and LAC in their observations of the parent-child/young person relationship and to identify where there is a break down in mentalizing and how this impacts on the emotional well being and behaviour of the young person.
  • To offer further psychoeducation on the impact of relational trauma, and a model to work with foster carers and children/young people that helps to bring greater understanding into the relationship of this early trauma.