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Assessing Parent-child relationships in Contact

February 21, 2022 @ 10:00 am - February 22, 2022 @ 4:30 pm

£75.00 – £150.00

Observing Parent-Child Relationships in Contact

What is it?

This new 2-day training course aims to teach a relational approach to observing parent-child relationships in child-parent contact following separation.

Current practice in the observation of contact tends to be task focussed, looking at what parents and/or child(ren) do rather than what is happening between the parent and the child, and what this means for the relationship.  This can lead  to a skewed and partial understanding where risk can be missed, concealed behind false smiles and performing adults and children, and strengths can be obscured by displays of genuine feeling engendered by separation, which is uncomfortable for the observer as well as the parent.

This 2-day course aims to take knowledge gained from attachment theory, observational assessments of parent-child relationships, and assessments of parental discourse (how parents talk and think about their child) and put it in an accessible format for those involved in overseeing and observing contact for children in Local Authority care.

Day 1 will look at the nature of contact, parenting, attachment, and the management of arousal in contact sessions.  Day 2 will look specifically at the task of observation and how to assess the issues developed in the first day’s teaching.  The limits of contact observation are also discussed.

Who is it for?

The training is for contact supervisors, social workers, family court advisors, foster carers, and any professionals involved in the supervision and organisation of parent-child contact.  It is informed by up-to-date research, but formal qualifications and prior knowledge is not required.


Dr Ben Grey is a social worker and a psychologist with long experience of assessing contact and parent-child relationships in the family courts in the UK and Ireland.  He also directs the University of Roehampton’s postgraduate programme in Attachment Theory, Research and Practice, a world-leading course in this field.

Juliet Kesteven is Co-director of Cambridge Centre for Attachment and is a social worker with long experience of assessing attachment relationships and contact in the family courts, as well as supervising and training both social workers and foster carers.

Deirdre Allen and Anne Christie are Children’s Guardians and social workers with expertise in attachment theory and procedures that assess parent-child relationships, as well as assessing parental contact in court settings.


£150 including all materials.  A reduced price is available for students or those not in employment; please check if unsure.

This course is offered at the introductory price as it is in development and the first time it has been offered.


The course will be offered online by Zoom.

Please note that the sessions will be recorded for asynchronous viewing by course participants, and also may be used in future training.


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February 21, 2022 @ 10:00 am
February 22, 2022 @ 4:30 pm
£75.00 – £150.00


Cambridge Centre for Attachment
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