Supporting the mental health of looked after and adopted children

Special offer price for individual members. Log in to your account to see your reduced membership rate below.

Plus all delegates receive a FREE copy of the Good Practice Guide Supporting the mental health of looked after and adopted children (usual price £16.95).

Supporting the mental health of looked after and adopted children cover

This conference will examine the factors that contribute to the mental health challenges that looked after and adopted children face. Delegates will explore a model of support that enables social workers, carers, adoptive parents and health professionals to make the most of their knowledge and skills - working together.


Although it is well-known that children in the care system have a higher incidence of mental health difficulties than the general population, understanding the reasons for why this is the case, and what can help them and those who care for them, continues to evolve. Equally, it is important to consider why some children appear to cope with the trauma better than others.

Access to specialist mental health services varies considerably across the country and, even when available, it may not be sufficiently tailored for the needs of looked after/adopted children or their carers/parents.

This conference will present a practical approach that will help social workers and other professionals to work together more effectively to promote children’s mental health and empower foster carers, kinship carers and adoptive parents.  The speakers will demonstrate how to understand children’s backgrounds and current events, rather than focusing on diagnostic criteria and labels.

The conference will involve ‘hands-on’ activities to identify ways to work with carers and parents to create safety, build children’s skills and enable them to reflect upon their lives and shift negative ways of thinking about themselves so they are gradually able to function more comfortably.

The event will cover:

  • The reasons why mental health difficulties are more prevalent among looked after children, and why this is not necessarily straightforward
  • Common worrying behaviours and symptoms
  • The importance of attachment and trauma
  • How children’s difficulties can affect carers and adoptive parents
  • How social workers can best gather crucial information to aid the understanding of children’s difficulties
  • Supporting children via a three stage process
  • Working collaboratively with carers/parents, professionals and others in the child’s life


Dr Karen Aldred and Dr Helen Rodwell, Consultant Clinical Psychologists in independent practice and authors of the Good Practice Guide above. Read our interview with Karen and Helen (conducted on publication of the guide).

Dr John Simmonds OBE, Director, Policy, Research & Development, CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy

Voices of foster carers, adoptive parents and young people with care experience 


This conference is ideal for a wide range of professionals including children’s social workers, supervising social workers and adoption specialists as well as a wide range of health professionals including staff within CAMHS teams and fostering and adoption medical advisers.

What others said...

“The focus of the conference was excellent.”

“Greatly enhanced my understanding of the mental health needs of LAC”

“The adoptive parent and young person’s presentations were very powerful … children and young people’s voices need to be heard and listened to.”

Comments from delegates at a version of this conference run by AFA Scotland in Dundee on 3 October 2019.


9.30am-10.00am  Registration and refreshments

10.00am-10.10am  Welcome and introductions by chair
Kevin Lowe, Team Manager, Policy, Research & Development, CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy

10.10am-10.50am  Children’s mental health in the spotlight including risk and resilience
Dr John Simmonds OBE, Director of Policy, Research & Development, CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy

10.50am-11.30am Knowing the child: CAPPE (Child Attributes and Past and Present Experiences)
Dr Karen Aldred and Dr Helen Rodwell, Consultant Clinical Psychologists in independent practice and authors of the Good Practice Guide Supporting the mental health of looked after and adopted children

11.30am-11.45am Refreshment break

11.45am-12.30am Working groups: applying the CAPPE approach
Dr Karen Aldred and Dr Helen Rodwell

12.30pm-1.00pm Seeking and accessing mental health support – our experience, voices of foster carers, adoptive parents and care leavers
Simon, Adoptive Parent, Tracey Guise, Foster Carer & Chief Executive Officer, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Ashleigh Searle, Care Leaver and Engagement Support Officer

1.00pm-2.00pm Lunch

2.00pm-2.20pm Plenary: Discussion with panel of speakers

2.20pm-3.45pm Safety, skills and recovery model
Dr Karen Aldred and Dr Helen Rodwell

3.45pm-4.00pm Plenary: Key messages to take away

4.00 Close


Full or associate CoramBAAF member - £185.00 + £37.00 VAT Total - £222.00
Individual CoramBAAF member - SPECIAL OFFER £108.00 + £21.60 VAT Total - £129.60 (usual price £135.00 + £27.00 VAT Total - £162.00
Non-member - £250.00 + £50.00 VAT - Total £300.00

Discounted fee for health and education professionals, adopters and foster carers - £108.00 + £21.60 VAT Total - £129.60. Contact to receive an exclusive discount code


Registration 9.30am
Start 10.00am
Close 4.00pm

Refreshments/lunch provided


Telephone 020 7520 7520


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