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Looked after children are a vulnerable group, a significant proportion of whom have experienced maltreatment. Mentalization based approaches can support foster carers and adoptive families to reflect on children in their care as autonomous individuals with needs, feelings and thoughts – this can be crucial in order for them to understand why a child may be displaying worrying or disruptive behaviour and to improve the relationship between foster carers and adoptive families and the children in their care.

Mentalization based approaches for adoptive families

Mentalization based approaches for adoptive families

The Centre has a clear focus on supporting children and families when difficulties arise after adoption. The MBT-F model has been adapted for use with Adoptive families (following NICE Guidance on Children with Attachment Difficulties (Nov, 2015) and the NICE Quality Standard (QS133) on Children’s Attachment (0ct, 2016).

Clinicians are working with children and parents post-adoption in order to improve relationships and increase communication within the family, to identify any more specific needs of individual family members with the ultimate aim of lessening the frequency of adoption breakdown.

The intention is to develop and adapt the work around Reflective Parenting to support staff working with parents in adoption services. 

For further information on referrals, or refer directly to STAMS clinical services via Head of Clinical Administration, Anna Kennett anna.kennett@annafreud.org

Mentalization based approaches for foster parents

Mentalization based approaches for foster parents

The Reflective Fostering Programme (RFP) has been developed by the Centre in collaboration with the NSPCC.

RFP will be rolled out across two NSPCC sites in 2017. The programme works with new foster carers who have a foster child aged 4 – 11 in their care, particularly where the children are displaying emotional, behavioural or relationship-based difficulties or where there may be a concern about the carer’s ability to manage a child's behavior.

A feasibility study on the RFP will be conducted in partnership with NSPCC services in Sheffield and Gillingham.

For more information regarding this programme, please click here.