Our Oxfordshire Family Assessment and Safeguarding team have been on the road over the last year, sharing their pioneering programme for parents at risk of child maltreatment and neglect with colleagues in Adelaide, Australia and Heidelberg in Germany.
The team were commissioned by their colleagues abroad to share their expertise, and they will be using the additional funding for further training for team members.
The Oxfordshire Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service (FASS), which is part of our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), works with safeguarding services such as social workers and the family courts. Its ultimate aim is to ensure positive outcomes for children who might be at risk of maltreatment or neglect.
The team works with children of all ages, but many of their cases involve children under the age of five.
The team provides a community-based treatment programme for parents at risk of child maltreatment and neglect.
By working on parental sensitivity, enhancing secure attachment between parents and children, and improving parenting skills, the programme aims to improve the relationship between parents and children.
Gerry Byrne, Head of Attachment CAMHS and Perinatal services at Oxford Health, pioneered the development of the Lighthouse model (illustration from the programme pictured above, by Jane Ray), which is based on Mentalization Based Therapy.
This therapy emphasises being able to understand others’ mental states, and in particular, parents learning to understand their children’s mental states.
Gerry said: “It was an honour to be asked to visit Adelaide and Heidelberg on behalf of the trust and to share our expertise.
“We have been asked to provide Skype supervision to our Australian colleagues, which we are really excited about starting and later this year we have been invited back to train colleagues in Perth.”