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The History of Child And Family Training

Child and Family Training (C&FT) has links with Government, international agencies, universities and research centres, charities and non-governmental organisations and local authorities in England and Wales. The C&FT team contains a number of published authors in the field of child protection.

Government

Between 1998 and 2001, as part of the development of the support materials to support the implementation of the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DH 2000) the Department of Health commissioned the development of the Family Pack of Questionnaires and Scales (Cox and Bentovim 2000), the Family Assessment (Bentovim and Bingley Miller (2001) and the HOME Inventory UK Approach (Cox and Walker 2000).

The Department of Health also supported the development of In My Shoes a computer assisted interview for communication with children and young people.

C&FT were also commissioned to develop associated training programmes. Further funding from the Department supported the training of accredited trainers to deliver the training programmes. This included the commissioning training films, which have been used extensively nationally and internationally.

The HOME Inventory Guide for Practitioners – the UK Approach (Cox, Pizzey and Walker 2008) incorporated interview schedules for the Adolescent HOME, the Child Care HOMEs and the Disability Adapted HOMEs. C&FT with the support of the Department of Health commissioned training films illustrating the use of the Disability Adapted HOME Inventory and selected questionnaires and scales.

In 2009 a revised training programmes for the HOME Inventory and the Family Pack of Questionnaires and Scales: Assessing Parenting and the Family Life of Children using Standardised Assessment Tools (Pizzey, Cox, Bingley Miller and Walker 2009) was completed. This training programme incorporated a seven stage model of assessment, analysis, planning interventions and identifying and measuring outcomes.

In 2010 the Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF) (Bentovim, Bingley Miller, Cox, Pizzey and Tapp) was developed. An associated trainers manual was completed in 2013 (Tapp, Bentovim, Bingley Miller, Cox and Pizzey).

In 2010 the Department for Children Schools and Families commissioned C&FT to deliver a training programme on Evidence-Based Assessment Tools and Model of Analysis and Planning using the Assessment Framework as part of the DCSF’s Family Intervention Project.

In 2010 C&FT was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government to run the National Training Programme: Evidence Based Assessment Tools. Analysis and Planning with Children and Families.  This was a two year accredited Agency Based Trainers training programme involving collaboration with ADSS Cymru, the Institute of Leadership and Management and City and Guilds.

In 2011 the Department for Education under its Improving Outcomes for Children, Young People and Families Initiative 2011-13 funded a C&FT project within the Initiative’s ‘Child Protection and Safeguarding’ theme. The project involved training on evidence based assessment, analysis and planning interventions, in the child protection and safeguarding children context. Integral to this project was the development of a mode of training and licencing Agency Based Trainers (ABTs) in order to support consistency and sustainability across authorities. This has and continues to be taken forward with a number of local authorities, particularly Birmingham City Council, Bradford City Council, Cornwall Council and South Gloucestershire Council, and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS).

In 2012 a revised training programme for the Family Assessment: Assessing Families in Complex Cases (Bingley Miller, Bentovim, Pizzey and Gren 2012) was completed. This training programme incorporated a seven stage model of assessment, analysis, planning interventions and identifying and measuring outcomes.

In 2013 the Department for Education as part of the National Prospectus Grants Programme 2013-15 commissioned C&FT to develop training resources relating to childhood neglect, assessment and analysis for Early Help services and a range of modules for evidence based interventions with children and families. The development of these different elements has enabled C&FT to respond to requests for ‘whole service development’ as well as individual courses under its Hope for Children and Families Programme (HfCF).

C&FT have trained the HfCF Intervention approaches in five pilot agencies: Birmingham City Council; Cambridgeshire County Council; London Borough of Merton; Nugent Care; and Sheffield City Council. The results of the five pilots have been reviewed and resulted in the further development of the intervention approaches as a series of modular guides due to be published in 2016.

In 2014 a revised edition of the SAAF was prepared to coincide with the Department for Education funded Randomised Controlled Trial of the Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF). A revised trainers manual was also completed.

In 2014 C&FT entered into a partnership with Children and Families Court Advisory Support Service (CAFCASS) for the use of the Apps This Much and Backdrop by CAFCASS officers.

International agencies

C&FT staff have regularly presented the approaches and resources and evidence regarding their implementation at international conferences hosted by the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) and the British Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) since 2003. 

The Assessing Families in Complex Cases training materials have been translated into Finnish, Portuguese and Spanish. In 2005 C&FT worked with the Psykoterapiataitojen Instituutti, Helsinki, Finland to promote the dissemination of the Assessing Families in Complex Cases training materials in Finland. The use of the materials in Finland continues to this date.

In 2008 C&FT provided training in Assessing Families in Complex Cases for two hospitals in Malaysia: Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Idoh Specialist Hospital.

The Child Protection Decision Making using the SAAF (Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework), training materials have been translated into Turkish. In 2014 C&FT trained a group of Turkish trainers from Izmir University to train staff on a multidisciplinary basis in the use of the SAAF.

In 2012 a range of C&FT’s training materials were translated into Latvian and for use at a multiagency training event commissioned by the Center Against Abuse "Dardedze", Riga, Latvia.

In 2013 and 2014 a range of C&FT’s training materials were translated into Spanish for use at multidisciplinary conferences in Chile and Mexico. C&FT is establishing a partnership with Fundacion JUCONI, Puebla, Mexico, a non-governmental organisation working with street children and their families in Central America.

Since 2013 C&FT have been working with Traveller Families’ Care (TFC) Ireland (established since 1975), providing training and consultation, to support their range of care services to the Travelling community in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE). TCF’s services include: innovative residential, aftercare and foster care programmes specifically designed to meet the needs of members of the Travelling community, working in partnership with the Travelling community and relevant agencies to promote the dignity, potential and growth of individuals and families who are experiencing difficulties.

Universities and Research Centres

Between 2003 and to date C&FT has had a continuing link with Liverpool and Manchester Universities for the development of In My Shoes and the development of Apps such as This Much, This Feeling and Backdrop for communication with children and young people and vulnerable adults.

In 2009 C&FT formed a partnership with the Lifespan Research Group, now based at Middlesex University, for the training and implementation of the Attachment Style Interview which has continued ever since.

Since 2012 C&FT has had an established collaboration with Department of Psychology, Izmir University, Turkey for the promotion of the C&FT approaches and training materials in Turkey.

In 2013 C&FT established a collaboration with Professor Bruce Chorpita of the University of Los Angeles and PracticeWise to develop a range of intervention resources as part of C&FT’s Hope for Children and Families Programme. Professor Chorpita has pioneered the approach of 'distilling' common elements from evidence based approaches in the child mental health field, and making them available to practitioners. He collaborated with C&FT to facilitate a similar approach to distill the common elements from the evidence based approaches to prevent the recurrence of abusive and neglectful parenting and the associated impairments of children's health and development (Bentovim and Elliott 2014).  These approaches have been integrated into a series of step by step modules, and practitioner guides, providing resources and training for practitioners working with a variety of contexts where there are child protection concerns. Piloting these of approaches by C&FT and colleagues in five areas funded by the DFE has helped refine the approaches, which will be available in a variety of formats including e-learning in collaboration with the Augeo Foundation in the Netherlands.

Between 2013 and 2016 Queen’s University, Belfast and the Colebrooke Centre, London are carrying out a Department for Education funded Randomised Controlled Trial of the Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF), developed by C&FT. The SAAF is a structured decision making tool. The research is being carried out by in six local authorities in England: Bournemouth Council, London Borough of Greenwich, Hampshire County Council, Leeds City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Oldham Council. The findings of the study are due to be published in 2016.

In 2014 C&FT entered into a a partnership with the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and genomics Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, The University of Manchester for research into the use of This Feeling App with children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Charities and non-governmental organisations

In 2012 C&FT, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused, and the Michael Sieff Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving policy and practice for the well-being of children and young people, organised a national conference at the Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, entitled Eradicating Child Maltreatment. Intervening with Children and Families: Policy and Practice.

Since 2013 C&FT has collaborated with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and SWAAY, a specialist provider of care for boys and young males who have displayed sexually harmful behaviour to produce some of the Intervention modules for working with parents, carers and children.

Local authorities

Since 2003 C&FT has delivered training staff in children’s services in local authorities and multi disciplinary teams all over England and Wales and also in Scotland.

C&FT has in place Agency Based Trainer programmes with Birmingham City Council, Bradford City Council, CAFCASS, Cardiff City Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Neath & Port Talbot Council, Norfolk County Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Torbay Council, Wolverhampton Council and Worcestershire County Council.UK: Wales; Aberlour, Scotland.

From 2015 C&FT has provided a programme of training for Surrey County Council in evidence based approaches for social workers in their first year of employment (assisted and supported year in employment (ASYE)). The programme integrates the use of neglect training materials, approaches to assessment and analysis, developing child focused plans, planning and delivering evidence based interventions and identifying and measuring outcomes.

Bespoke training programmes have been developed for local authorities such as Wolverhampton Council (assessment, analysis, intervention and permanence planning) and Lancashire County Council (child focused planning).

Organising conferences

C&FT has organised national and regional conferences in England and Wales since 2003.

In 2003 C&FT hosted a series of regional conferences in Manchester, London, York and Bristol titled Assessment and Decision Making regarding Children and Families: New Evidence-Based Approaches for Use in Permanency Planning and Court Proceedings.

In 2009 C&FT hosted a two day international conference at the Institute of Child Health titled The Journey to Recovery: Safeguarding Children Living with Trauma and Family Violence – Assessment, Analysis and Intervention. Speakers included Prof David Kolko from the University of Pittsburgh, and Lucy Berliner of the Harborview Centre Seattle. 

The conference promoted the publication of Bentovim A., Cox A., Bingley Miller L. and Pizzey S. (2009) Safeguarding Children Living with Trauma and Family Violence: A Guide to Evidence-Bases Assessment, Analysis and Planning Interventions.  London: Jessica Kingsley. The book summarised the evidence based approaches developed by C&FT and initiated the development of the Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF).

In 2010 C&FT hosted a national conference at the Institute of Child Health, London, titled Promoting Resilience with Disabled Children & their Families: Evidence-Based Assessment, Support & Intervention.

In 2012 C&FT, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused, and the Michael Sieff Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving policy and practice for the well-being of children and young people, organised an international conference at the Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, entitled Eradicating Child Maltreatment. Intervening with Children and Families: Policy and Practice. Speakers included Professor Bruce Chorpita UCLA, and Professor Ron Prinz University of South Carolina. Contributions were subsequently included in a text published by JKP edited by Arnon bentovim and Jenny Gray (2014).

In 2013 C&FT hosted a national conference at the Institute of Child Health, London, titled Eradicating Childhood Neglect: Effective Assessment, Analysis and Intervention. The speakers included Professor Harriet Ward of Loughborough University, Professor Jane Barlow of Warwick University, Professor Mike Stein of York University and Professor Elaine Farmer of Bristol University. All the speakers presentations were filmed and are freely available on the C&FT website.

In 2013 regional conferences on neglect were held in London, Newcastle, Bristol, and Birmingham.

In 2014 the Faithfull Foundation together with C&FT and the Oak Foundation, hosted an International Conference at the Institute of Child Health in the Eradicating Child Maltreatment series focusing on a multi level prevention strategy to eradicate Sexual Abuse. Speakers included Steven Smallbone from Australia.

In 2014 C&FT hosted a series of regional conferences in Manchester, London, Cambridge and Birmingham titled Child and Family Training DfE Funded Childhood Neglect Project. The Hope for Children and Families Programme: Resources to help professionals help children and families.

C&FT have developed effective working partnerships with a number of authorities on small and large projects. This has included authorities such as Birmingham City Council; Cornwall Council, Sheffield City Council. Projects such as these has led to C&FT developing expertise in working collaboratively with partners, linking with strategic planning and priorities and keeping projects on track to ensure maximum benefit for services to children and families.