The Safe and Meaningful Contact Guidelines:
Trauma informed decision making about contact arrangements for looked after children.
Online Anytime course.
This evidence-based online course draws on contemporary attachment theory and the latest research into childhood trauma and contact arrangements to consider the potential of contact as a resource to facilitate the child’s developmental recovery. It explains the Safe and Meaningful Contact (SaMC) guidelines (Burke and Woodhouse, 2021) which identify key information decision makers require in order to make trauma-informed decisions related to the child’s contact arrangements. The course helps participants:
Understand how contact has the potential to help or hinder the child’s recovery from past trauma;
Use the Safe and Meaningful Contact (SaMC) guidelines that identify clinical information decision makers require to determine whether contact is safe and meaningful to the child;
Identify factors associated with the child, birth relative and carer that determine the potential benefits and risks of contact;
Identify the support needs of the child, birth relative and carer to ensure contact maximises its potential to facilitate the child’s recovery needs.
Informs recommendations and decision making about contact arrangements for children in local authority or permanent care arrangements,
Organises information about the child, carer and birth relative around the potential of contact to achieve purposes associated with the child or young person’s developmental recovery,
Identifies how contact can be appropriately supported and managed to ensure it safely benefits the child or young person’s recovery from traumatic life experiences,
Offers a universal process for practitioners to evidence clinical reasoning about contact arrangements.
Practitioners such as social workers and mental health professionals can use the SaMC guidelines to make recommendations about contact arrangements and identify support needs to ensure contact is maximising its potential to play a role in the child’s developmental recovery;
Legal decision makers can use the SaMC guidelines to determine whether they have the information required to make trauma informed decisions related to the child’s contact arrangements;
The SaMC guidelines can be used to help birth relatives and carers (such as adopters, kinship carers, special guardians, and foster carers) understand the benefits and risks associated with what contact means to their child.
Aims and overview of the course.FREE PREVIEW
The context of contact.
Understanding what harm has been done to the child: Attachment trauma.
The child’s recovery needs.
The impact of past harmful relationships on present relationships.
Helping the child integrate their traumatic past.
The impact of contact on the child’s recovery.
Reflective practice: Exercise 1.
Supporting contact to ensure it is safe and meaningful.
Processes to support contact.
Support for the child: Preparation.
Support for the carer: Preparation.
Support for the birth relative: Preparation.
Support for the child, carer and birth relative: Facilitation.
Support for the child, carer and birth relative: Debrief.
Limitations of support.
Supporting the support system.
Contact Quiz answers.
Reflective practice: Exercise 2.
The development of the SaMC guidelines.FREE PREVIEW
The outcome of the SaMC guidelines.FREE PREVIEW
The SaMC Profile Table.
Information gathering to inform the use of the guidelines.
Exercise: Applying the guidelines to your case (whether in a legal context, a child you are assessing or a child for whom you care).
Purpose 1: Promoting the child’s placement stability.
Purpose 1: Child.
Purpose 1: Carer.
Purpose 1: Birth Relative.
Purpose 1: SaMC Profile.
Purpose 2: Managing loss/separation.
Purpose 2: Child.
Purpose 2: Carer.
Purpose 2: Birth Relative.
Purpose 2: SaMC Profile.
Purpose 3: Helping the child understand why they are in care.
Purpose 3: Child.
Purpose 3: Carer.
Purpose 3: Birth relative.
Purpose 3: SaMC Profile.
Part 4: Helping the child integrate their past.
Purpose 4: Child.
Purpose 4: Carer.
Purpose 4: Birth Relative.
Purpose 4: SaMC Profile.
Purpose 5: Helping the child understand their identity.
Purpose 5: Child.
Purpose 5: Carer.
Purpose 5: Birth relative.
Purpose 5: SaMC Profile.
Planning, supporting and reviewing contact.
Case example: Outcome.
Please complete the course feedback survey.
SaMC Guidelines Course Completion Quiz.
Dr Chris Burke, Clinical Psychologist
Price includes a copy of the SaMC guidelines, the user guide, certificate licensing you to use the guidelines once the course is complete, reflective practice exercises, 3.5 hours of CPD.
“…well-supported, good quality contact can contribute to children and young people’s sense of identity, mitigate issues around attachment and help children to find a sense of closure and understanding of the reasons for their placement.”
Online anytime training, webinars, live onsite events:
This course describes how traumatised children are harmed by abusive parents, psychological consequences of such harm and what information about the parent-child relationship is required to make trauma responsive decisions about the child’s care.
"Contact alone will not achieve positive well-being outcomes for children. The overall purpose of contact should therefore be understood as enabling the safe and meaningful involvement of the birth family. This approach to contact also involves acknowledging when contact with certain family members is not appropriate because of risk of abuse or re-traumatisation". Iyer et al, 2020.
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For additional information or enquiries contact Dr Chris Burke:
Tel: +44 7751062317