11th June 2019 - Cardiff

Dr Mary Mather is a retired Consultant Community Paediatrician. She has been involved in the medical assessment of looked after children since 1990. She has been the medical adviser to 3 local authority panels, a voluntary adoption agency and an intercountry adoption panel. She was also the designated doctor for safeguarding for over 20 years.

Theme : Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a permanent, lifelong disability caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. It affects a considerable number of children and young people in the UK. Crucially, looked after and adopted children, who are often born into drug and alcohol abusing families, are more likely to be affected than those in the general population. Studies suggest that at least one-third of looked after children come into care with a parental history of alcohol misuse.

Although the situation is slowly improving, there still are many British professionals in health, education and social services who have a poor awareness of, and a lack of training in, the complexity of this invisible disability. Increased professional knowledge and understanding are key to successful future management of this disorder – and social workers have a vital role to play. This conference will address some key questions: What is FASD, and how can it affect children? How is it diagnosed and managed? How can social workers ensure that they take FASD into account when working with and placing children and supporting them and their families?


Audience : Social workers, Adoption and LAC teams, Adoption and Fostering Panel members and chairs, medical advisers and educational professionals especially those working with children with special needs.

Download this file (Booking Form Mary Mather June 2019.docx)Booking Form[ ]89 kB

The Secure Base model of therapeutic caregiving was developed by Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek at the University of East Anglia and based on research in attachment, resilience, fostering and adoption. Through a range of publications and a dedicated website (www.uea.ac.uk/providingasecurebase),  the Secure Base model has now become established in a wide range of agencies in the UK and internationally, in diverse countries including Norway, Australia, China, Thailand and Ukraine.

This conference will provide practitioners with an important opportunity to learn about and discuss developments in the implementation and use of the Secure Base model in work with children and families.  It will include presentations on how the Secure Base model can support specific areas of practice: for example, moving children from a secure base in foster care to a secure base in adoption; supervision of foster carers and support for adoptive parents to promote children’s development, security and resilience; supporting caregivers of teenagers in foster care and adoption.

Download this file (Booking Form re Secure Base Conf 21 Nov 18 (002).docx)Booking Form Secure Base 21 Nov[ ]350 kB

Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) was developed by Dan Hughes as part of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. An approach to helping children who have experienced trauma from within the family. DDP-informed parenting helps parents to emotionally connect with their children in ways which increases feelings of safety and security.  This recognises that the children often fear such connection and supports parents to help their children overcome these fears.  Using two hands for parenting, emotional connection and nurture combines with boundaries and discipline to provide a ‘connection with correction’ approach to parenting children. It draws on the parents’ capacity for emotional regulation and to be mind-minded so that they can adopt the attitude of PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy) as described by Dan Hughes.

Download this file (Booking Form re 6 Feb 2019.docx)Booking Form 6 Feb 2019[ ]93 kB

Read more: DDP informed parenting: the power of PACE to stay open and engaged when parenting traumatized...

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In September 2015, The Association of Fostering and Adoption (AFA) Cymru was formed. Whilst its day to day operational services of training, consultancy, professional advice and information are delivered independently of St. David’s, it is by law governed by St. David’s Children Society under the terms of its charitable status.

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The Association for Fostering and Adoption Cymru (AFA Cymru) is a Welsh charity that promotes good practice across the breadth of permanency planning for children and young people.   It also offers advice, training and consultancy to professionals and members of the public to support best practice.  

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