What will I learn?

The course describes how children are harmed by parents who abuse them, psychological factors that cause harmful parenting and what information about the parent-child relationship is required to make trauma responsive decisions about the child’s care. It is orientated around an evidence-based clinical approach primarily informed by contemporary attachment theory as a way of conceptualizing the parent-child relationship. The course:

  • Explains the psychological processes underpinning abuse and neglect and how these can be identified to inform decision making.

  • Identifies relevant clinical information required to determine the care needs of the child, the sensitivity of the parent to the child’s needs and the safety of the context within which the parent-child relationship takes place.

  • Describes the Psychological Parenting Capacity Checklist, a tool designed to aid decision making through organisation of clinical information available and to determine whether further assessment is required to make trauma responsive decisions about the parent’s capacity to care for their child.

Target audience

The course is relevant to those involved in making or contributing to legal decisions about a parent’s capacity to safely care for their child. This includes legal professionals, children’s panel members, social workers, and mental health practitioners.

Course curriculum

    1. What is psychological trauma?

    2. Attachment trauma

    3. Reflective Exercise

    1. Healthy vs unhealthy parent-child relationships

    2. Sensitive parenting

    3. Controlling parenting

    4. How children adapt to their parent to maintain connection: Attachment patterns

    5. Unresponsive parenting

    6. The developmental consequences of attachment trauma

    7. The long-term impact on the child of the nature of the parent-child relationship

    1. Psychological components of parenting capacity

    2. The interplay of factors about the child, parent and context that inform psychological parenting capacity

    3. The Psychological Parenting Capacity Checklist

    4. Relevant clinical information about the specific care needs of the child

    5. Relevant clinical information about the parent’s sensitivity to the specific needs of their child

    6. High conflict parenting post-separation (“parental alienation”)

    7. Relevant clinical information about the context in which parenting takes place

    8. Case example using the Psychological Parenting Capacity Checklist

    9. Parenting capacity should not determine contact arrangements

    10. Summary and Conclusion

    11. Feedback

About this course

  • £55.00
  • 23 lessons
  • 1.5 hours of video content

Parenting Capacity Training Testimonials

Occupational Therapist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

This was a brilliant course that has been immediately helpful and applicable to the work I do with children who have experienced developmental trauma due to their parents' own difficulties and experiences. I have done other courses on attachment that have focused on theory - this course differs in that it offers a clear and practical framework for applying attachment theory in a useful way that allows assessment of the child, parent and carer and helps identify goals and areas to work on therapeutically. The teacher communicates the complex ideas clearly and the visual presentation is excellent. I have been looking for a course like this and I highly recommend.


This is a really interesting and easily digestible course. A great guide for both Lawyers and Social Workers. It clearly explains the link between parenting capability and childhood trauma and what a court needs to understand and consider when deciding if a parent should continue to care for their child. The checklist provides a useful takeaway resource. I would definitely recommend this course.


Chartered Clinical Psychologist Dr Chris Burke

Chris is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in developmental trauma. In his capacity as an expert witness in child and family law, Chris frequently offers psychological opinion about contact and residential arrangements and gives evidence in court. Chris attained his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Edinburgh University in 2003. He has pre and post-doctorate qualification experience working in both the NHS and the private sector with adults and children experiencing psychological distress.

Price (including VAT)

  • £55.00

    One time payment

  • 6 x £15.00

    Monthly payment plan


Add your email to the mailing list to get the latest updates.

Thank You