Introducing PACE principles in practice


The PACE parenting approach was developed by Dr Dan Hughes  for parents and carers of children who are adopted or live in foster or kinship care families. PACE stands for Playfullness, Acceptance. Curiosity, and Empathy and is an attitude has proved to be helpful for many professionals working in adoption, fostering or kinship care services. 

The aim of PACE is to allow the child to establish a positive and reciprocal relationship with their parents or carers and to experience relationships as 'safe'. Confidence in using PACE principles in practice will help professionals to develop accepting and empathic relationships with the children and young people they meet; help explain behaviours which are experienced as challenging to their parents and carers and inform advice given to parents, carers, schools and other people involved in the child's care.

This training may be a first introduction to using PACE principles for some, while those more experiences with PACE may attend to refresh and refocus their existing skills.

Delivered by training and consultancy manager Hedwig Verhagen, who is a therapeutic social worker with extensive experience and training in this approach. 


  • To introduce the PACE model and explore why this approach may be helpful in communicating with children and young people who have experienced early traumatic experiences
  • To consider the individual elements of the PACE model and develop an understanding of their importance when communicating with vulnerable children and young people
  • Practice using the PACE model in a safe and playful environment to develop confidence in use of the approach


This event will be delivered by Hedwig Verhagen, a therapeutic social worker who has worked in adoption and special guardianship support services in LA and VAA environments since qualifying as a social worker in 2010.

She was part of the small team who set up a Centre of Excellence in Adoption Support partnership service in 2013, which later became the Centre for Adoption Support at Adoption Matters. Hedwig’s therapeutic work is informed by Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), as well as body-based approaches.

Her areas of special interest are Child to Parent Violence and Aggression and the experiences of adopted young people and adults. She is currently undertaking research into birth parents’ experiences of trauma.


This training is aimed at professionals working with adults, children and young people who have experienced adversity and/or trauma and their parent or carers. Parents and carers are very welcome on this training too, although the case studies will focus on how to support families rather than parenting itself. 

For social workers, reflection on this session may contribute to your continuing professional development (CPD).

Total of 22 places available.


Registration 9.45 am
Start 10.00 am*
Close 4.00 pm*

*Times subject to change

Maximum of 22 participants


Full or associate CoramBAAF member - £158.00 + £31.60 VAT = £189.60
Individual CoramBAAF member - £120.00 + £24.00 VAT = £144.00
Non-member - £220.00 + £44.00 VAT = £264.00

*Please contact our events team via email to secure your place. 


Telephone 020 7520 2043


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