Enhanced Problem Solving when Working with Anti-Social Behaviour

Delivered by

Joanna Foster


Format options

In Person | Online

Duration options

6 hrs (1 day)


This training can be adapted for parents and carers including foster carers, and further bespoke elements can be added on request.

Content Summary: 

Pro-social problem-solving skills have been identified as a recurring need amongst both adults and teenagers with offending behaviours.  Whilst many practitioners will apply basic problem-solving approaches in their direct work with clients, namely, stop and think, few have an understanding of the enhanced problem-solving approaches that focus on the SSTA method: Stop, Slow down, Think and Act.  This course directly focuses on the SSTA approach.

This one-day course teaches the SSTA approach, which highlights the influence of on an individual’s thoughts, feelings and actions.  The focus on emotions is needed for practitioners working with adolescents with anti-social behaviours to help them identify – and slow down – their own Automatic Thoughts (AT) when working with clients.  In so doing they can empower young people to recognise their own AT and work towards decisions made on Rational Thoughts (RT).  Delegates also learn about their own problem-solving style, which helps them to be more skilful in both their decision-making process and the facilitation of decisions reached by others.

By attending the course, delegates will learn the latest research developments in problem solving work, identify the four key areas that supplement traditional problem solving approaches, become aware of their own problem solving style, and practice new and creative ways to apply problem solving exercises in their direct work with adolescents.


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Training delivered by

Joanna Foster

After graduating from the University of Oxford, Joanna gained over sixteen years’ experience of working in the public, charitable and voluntary sectors, including ten years managing the London Fire Brigade’s firesetting intervention scheme for children and teenagers. As manager, Joanna worked with hundreds of London’s most at-risk children and families, re-shaping the intervention scheme in line with statutory requirements to ensure the highest possible standards for clients and staff. Using her working knowledge and training in children’s safeguarding and wellbeing, Joanna worked closely with the London Child Protection Committee to introduce juvenile firesetting behaviour into the London Child Protection Procedures for the first time.

Joanna delivers training, consultancy and supervision services to front-line organisations. She continues to work directly with children and teenagers who set fires, including accepting referrals from public sector bodies. Joanna’s professional clients include practitioners from the NHS, CAMHS, HMPPS, YOT, forensic psychology, fire services, police, education, social care, academia, arts therapies, secure units, mental health services and charities. She has also trained practitioners overseas and developed and delivered workshops and webinars tailored specifically to parents and carers. Although specialising in juvenile firesetting, Joanna’s work and studies enable her to deliver training that covers the spectrum of children, families and practitioners needs. As a result, Joanna has spoken at national and international conferences in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, New Zealand and the US on the subjects of juvenile firesetting and children’s safeguarding.

Joanna has a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, and a Master’s in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management at the University of Cambridge. Achieving distinction status and receiving four awards from the University of Cambridge for her studies, her thesis explored the identification of risk and need when addressing child firesetting. Joanna’s first book ‘Children and Teenagers Who Set Fires: Why they do it and how to help’ was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2019. In 2021 she was awarded ‘Training Provider of the Year’ by the Fire and Excellence Emergency Awards, receiving several nominations for the title.