Target audience

Professionals within the legal system involved with decision making related to contact arrangements for looked after children including: Solicitors, Counsel, Children’s Panel members, Children’s Reporters, Child Welfare Reporters, Safe-guarders, Sheriffs.


In this evidence-based webinar, clinical psychologists, Anne and Chris, identify psychological factors that are key to ensuring the needs of traumatised children are kept at the centre of decision-making related to post-permanence contact arrangements. The webinar considers the potential of contact as a resource to facilitate the child’s developmental recovery. It emphasises the importance of establishing the purpose of post-permanence contact and understanding the support needs of the child, birth relatives, carers/adopters and the systems around them. It is argued that contact should be central to permanence planning by social work, the children’s hearing system and the courts. Case examples are used to illustrate the issues. Nicola Gilchrist of Arnot Manderson Advocates will be joining us for a case discussion to round off the morning.The webinar aims to help participants consider:

  • the changing culture of post-permanence contact decisions;

  • how contact has the potential to help or hinder the child’s recovery from past trauma;

  • the support needs of the child, birth parent and carer to ensure contact maximises its potential to facilitate the child’s recovery needs;

  • the role of decision-making systems (panels, courts) in influencing cultural change around post-permanence contact arrangements;

  • recognition of the information decision-makers require about the child, birth relative and carer to determine whether contact is safe and meaningful for the child.

Course curriculum

    1. The changing culture of post-permanence contact decisions.

    2. The links between contact arrangements and the child’s developmental recovery needs.

    3. Supporting contact to ensure it is safe and meaningful.

    4. A framework for achieving safe and meaningful contact: The Safe and Meaningful Contact (SaMC) Guidelines.

    5. Different types of contact.

    6. Case examples using the Safe and Meaningful Contact (SaMC) guidelines.

    7. References

About this course

  • £55.00
  • 7 lessons
  • 2.5 hours of video content

Course Tutors

Chartered Clinical Psychologist Dr Anne Woodhouse

Anne is a graduate of the universities of Edinburgh and Cardiff. She has worked in Edinburgh, London, New York and Swansea. Now based in the Highlands, Anne was Lead Psychologist for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the NHS until she left in 2014 to commit full time to her private practice, Solution Psychology. Anne has been providing expert reports in child and family law since she qualified with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1997.

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.

Available on request.

The webinar can be delivered via Zoom or your preferred video call platform. All you require is a computer with sound. Requires a minimum of 10 participants.

Other courses available.

Online anytime training, webinars, live onsite events.

For additional information or enquiries contact Dr Chris Burke:

[email protected]

Tel: +44 7751062317

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