Trauma Informed Contact / Access with Birth Families for Children in Care

Delivered by

Christina Enright


Format options


Duration options

3 hrs | 4 hrs


This training can be adapted to a diverse range of contexts, and further bespoke elements can be added on request.

Content Summary: 

Research shows that parent-child/child-sibling access or contact are important for supporting successful outcomes for children who are in care. However, access can be a challenging experience for parent, child and foster carer. Foster carers may hold concern about the impact of the access experience for the child and may face challenges in interpersonal dynamics with the child’s birth family. This training will give foster carers and other professionals a space to explore their questions about access/contact and how it needs to be set up and monitored in the best interest of children as well as how to promote positive experiences and relationships with birth relatives.

Learning Objectives

As a result of completing this training Foster Carers can learn about:

  • What the research evidence tells us about access/contact with birth families and why it is important for children in foster care.
  • How trauma impacts on the child’s ability to make sense of their experiences from the past and in their current life and may impact on access.
  • Helping children with the challenge of having to navigate relationships with two families and the loyalty conflict that often occurs
  • How to monitor the impact of access on foster children
  • How to support birth parents and foster children to maximise the benefits they get from access
  • How to help children to deal with conflicting and distressing feelings relating to access with their birth families
  • Access with siblings and the importance of thinking about the quality of the interaction between them
  • When access should be restricted or denied
  • How to understand the birth parents’ experience and how to respond when they present as angry and critical of the foster carer

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Bespoke Training

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Training delivered by

Christina Enright

RN, BSc Psychology, Dip in Family Therapy, MA Child Psychotherapy, Dip Clinical Supervision.

Over the past 17 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. This followed on from 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with main-stream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma consultancy to the clinical team developing a children’s service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK.

She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland.  Her special interest is in early childhood development and the impact of trauma on a child’s developing capacities, functioning and behaviour. From her experience working with children who have endured developmental trauma characterised by neglect and abuse, she has found it necessary to use a comprehensive integrated approach in order to address the multiple complexities which such children present with.

Christina returned to live in Ireland in 2016 and currently works as a Developmental Trauma and Attachment specialist providing training, assessment and clinical interventions on behalf of Tusla Child and Family Agency and in independent practice with birth and adoptive families.