Birth Family Parenting Programme: Understanding and parenting children with complex needs
The programme was developed to support birth parents of children with complex needs. The programme was based on the Kim Golding Nurturing Attachments Training Programme (2013) and the premises that much of the difficulties experienced by the parents is rooted in their attachment history and experiences of being parented. We held 4 training sessions with 5 sets of parents aimed at helping develop their understanding around child development, attachment theory, factors which impact on our ability to parent and how this may affect the child. This was followed by an individual session with the Clinical Psychologist and Parent Liaison Support to think more about their child and to develop a ‘picture’ or ‘formulation’ of their child and some specific strategies and techniques to help the individual family. We concluded with a follow up support group to reflect on learning, development and changes within the families and to offer some additional support and encouragement to further enhance their confidence in their new ways of parenting/responding to their child. Parents completed the SDQ and PSI at the beginning and end of the programme alongside a qualitative evaluation form. Results indicated a reduction in total stress, and an improvement in the parent-child relationship (measured by PSI) and a reduction in symptoms/ranges on the SDQ including overall stress and behavioural difficulties.