Information for Professionals

The Consortium comprises professionals from the fields of Clinical Psychology and Paediatrics and can offer a range of interventions to the families of children who are experiencing emotional and psychological problems.  We can also offer consultation and supervision to the range of professionals who support these children in different ways.


Health Professionals

Psychological and emotional problems can manifest in different ways and children may be brought to the attention of their general practitioner or other health professional with symptoms of depression, anxiety, underperformance in school or behaviour difficulties which may be hard to manage or more serious, such as eating disorders, self harm or other dangerous behaviours.

Sometimes emotional problems have an obvious cause such as traumatic experiences, disability or serious medical problems involving hospital stays and painful or intrusive interventions.  Sometimes there is no easily identifiable reason and there needs to be thought about how the child experiences his/her world and relationships to understand why they are finding it difficult.

These children do not always meet the threshold for CAMHS involvement, and in that circumstance we can offer parents space to think about their children and, by getting a better understanding, to find ways of helping their child cope in ways that are less problematic.   We can work with parents and children together, and offer individual assessments and a range of therapeutic interventions as appropriate including family work, psychotherapy, art psychotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and psychometric assessments.

 Our staff have particular experience and skill in working with very young, pre-verbal children and with infants, looking at the developing relationship between the child and his/her carers.  New parents – sometimes even before their baby is born – can find the experience overwhelming or find the reality very different from their expectations.  Or perhaps there are unexpected problems in pregnancy or around birth that impede the parents’ capacity to welcome their baby in the way they hoped.  Thought and support at this stage can prevent more entrenched and serious problems developing as the child gets older

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Social Care and Fostering and Adoption Professionals.

All who work with children and young people who are not able to live with their birth families are aware that the impact of the breakdown of these primary care relationships can be longstanding.  This can be compounded by experience of abuse or neglect, or by living in a home where there is domestic violence, or the abuse of drugs or alcohol.

Securing a sufficiently safe home environment is an essential first step, but often the impact of past experience propels the child to behaviours that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to survive and contain, with the result that potentially nurturing placements break down or become entrenched in complex relationships that are helpful to no-one.  These behaviours impact not only on the families of the children but also on the professional network around them.

The Consortium can offer help to understand these unconscious processes and a range of interventions: group or individual support to the professionals in social care to recognise and respond to the impact of the child’s trauma, which may facilitate decisions about where a child can safely live; thought about the impact of contact where separation is indicated, and to think about the placement or separation of sibling groups; support to the carers of children who are struggling to understand why their care is not making things better; specialist attachment work for Looked After Children including Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and therapeutic interventions where appropriate. 

We are also able to provide supervision and training to field and residential staff, and to prepare court reports.

Educational and Residential Staff

Staff have to provide education and care to children with a range of needs and capacities as well as diverse cultural, language and religious backgrounds.  School and residential staff are often also faced with a group of children who have very complicated needs, and high levels of emotional distress and deprivation.   

The demands of these children can be overwhelming and we can offer support and consultation to help understand individual children who are presenting in disturbing, worrying, puzzling or challenging ways.  It may also be helpful to think about the classroom dynamics and the organizational issues that impact upon how individual staff function, and we can offer consultation to help to provide insight into some of the social and emotional issues that are obstacles to the process of learning, making relationships or maturity.

We can offer help to identify children who may need more specialist help and think with staff about who best can provide this.

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Legal Services

We have clinicians who can undertake Attachment-Style Interviews and assessments to facilitate decision-making in child care legal proceedings, and who can offer a range of psychological assessments.  Some clinicians are trained as expert witnesses.

Please look at our other pages for more specific information about services to looked after and adopted children and those involved in legal proceedings.

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