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Course Details

New Perspectives on Assessment and Observation

University of Kent
Contact Provider
1 study day at Canterbury plus online study over 10 weeks.
Short Course (Online)
Childcare professionals, GPs, nurses, social workers and teachers; anyone involved with the care or protection of children.
Online / Distance Learning Course

This short course explores child protection practice and assessment models. The course focuses on technique, evidence base and practice implications in multi-agency settings. It is suitable for a wide range of professionals who work with complex family circumstances, including child protection and child in need.
The course provides students with in depth knowledge about current assessment practice, as well new approaches e.g. ADAM (Assessment of Disorganised Attachment and Maltreatment), where the likelihood of maltreatment is significantly higher where a child demonstrates disorganised attachment behaviour.

The theoretical thread of this course centres on what leads to disorganised attachment and how this results from specific parenting styles. Assessing parents as a professional will be explored and significant attention will be paid to the ‘mentalisation’ process: how parents share (or do not engage) in the psychological experiences of their children. Coupled with this is the professionals need to understand ‘unresolved loss and trauma’. Communication skills are considered and explored with a particular focus on how professionals communicate and navigate the complex issues they encounter in, as this is fundamental to effective assessments.


You are supported by a tutor with contact possible by face-to face meetings, email, Skype or phone. All core study materials are available through the University web based learning platform ‘Moodle’ and you also have access to the University of Kent’s Library Services and other student resources and support. An induction study day at the Canterbury Campus is offered within the 10 weeks to facilitate group work and networking.

Eligible individuals successfully completing this short course will qualify for 20 MA credits.

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