Conference: ‘Trauma Informed Practice: what works with children and families?’

Book your tickets now

Woodbrooke Conference Centre, Birmingham
24th and 25th September 2019

We have been busy here at the International Centre, working in partnership with IRCT – The Institute for Recovery from Childhood Trauma and Family for Every Child to bring you current perspectives on TIP (see the booking form here). The two days offer experiential workshops on developing the use of narrative in recovery, alongside presentations on the evidence base for practice.



Conference Chair: John Diamond
Chief Executive, The Mulberry Bush


Lisa Cherry: Trauma Informed Practice with children and families across different sectors – the role of narrative in recovery

Lisa Cherry is an author and a leading international trainer and consultant, specialising in assisting those in Education, Probation, Social Care and Adoption and Fostering to understand trauma, recovery and resilience for vulnerable children, young people and their families. Lisa has nearly 30 years’ experience in this field and combines academic knowledge and research with professional skills and personal experience. Lisa has recently completed research on the impact of exclusion on children who were looked after away from home in the 1970s and 1980s.


Neil Thompson PhD, DLitt

Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser. He has held full or honorary professorships at four UK universities He is a well-published author with over 300 publications to his name, including 44 books, several of which are bestsellers. He has been a speaker at conferences in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Greece, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Hong Kong, India, the United States, Canada and Australia. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement. He was formerly the editor of the US-based international journal, Illness, Crisis & Loss. He is a sought-after conference speaker, consultant and facilitator. He runs the Avenue Professional Development Programme, an innovative subscription-based online learning community for the people professions ( His personal website and blog are at:


Carly Kingswood: Therapeutic Life Story Work

After some years as a Child Protection Social Worker, Carly’s interest in Attachment lead her to retrain as a Play Therapist. Once qualified, Carly took up part time roles including freelance therapy and training student Social Workers alongside raising two birth children. In 2010 she became a foster carer and began working as a therapist at Catchpoint, a multi-modal therapy centre specialising in work with traumatised children and their families. It was both these roles that deepened Carly’s understanding and connection with traumatised children and the incredible families that care for them. Having found a professional home in this work, Carly was the first person in the country to complete an MA in Therapeutic Adoption and Fostering and in 2014 set up her own independent therapeutic service based 8 miles from Bath. She now practices in delivering DDP and Therapeutic Life Story Work to adoptive, kinship and foster families as well as supporting two residential care homes to therapeutically parent the children in their care using DDP principles. Carly loves spending time with her family and friends and to cook lovely food for the masses! She runs for miles each week after dropping her youngest child to school and balances her healthy, conscientious lifestyle with gin and tonic!


Nandor Grosch: Filmmaking group for children living in foster care

I lead film groups under the programs of Kids’ Eye Public Art Association, that I founded myself. I graduated from Kossuth Lajos University Faculty of Arts and have a masters degree in History and a teacher certification exam too. I also have a film producer diploma that I obtained at the University of Theater and Film Arts and a method based qualification as a child-psychodrama leader from the Hungarian Psychodrama Association. Apart from working for the Kids’ Eye Association I work full time as a legal guardian at the Child Care Centre in Budapest. I provide the legal representation for thirty children who were removed from their original families and are being raised at foster families or in homes. I myself have been raised in various foster homes over 13 years. Today I am married with three children.


Dr Caryn Onions: Bringing alive the minds of traumatised children: research findings from The Mulberry Bush, a therapeutic residential primary school

Caryn Onions is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Head of Research and Development at The Mulberry Bush School near Oxford, where she has worked since 2004. It is a residential special school for primary aged children who have experienced trauma and/or neglect and abuse. She has a background in social work and CAMHS. Caryn is interested in how early trauma affects a child’s ability to make relationships, and the subsequent impact on the adults who look after them. Her doctoral research with the University of Exeter looked at the experiences of parents and carers. Using thematic and narrative analyses Caryn explored the development of relationships between the school and new parents and carers, focussing on the child’s first year at the school.


Sylvia Duncan, Chair of the IRCT: Therapeutic Re-parenting in the Community: Trauma Informed Foster Care

Sylvia Duncan is a Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist who since qualifying in 1972 has dedicated her professional life to working with traumatised children and adults. She has researched and published widely in the field of child abuse and neglect and provided therapeutic services for children and families in recovery. She has always believed that the best potential therapeutic resource for helping children to recover from early trauma is those involved in their day to day care and education, provided that these adults are in receipt of appropriate training and support to be able to look behind the behaviour of the child to try to understand what the emotional drives might be for it thus enabling the development of appropriate strategies for responding to the child’s emotional needs and not just managing and trying to control their behaviour. She continues to offer consultation and training to parents, carers and other professionals working with abused, neglected and traumatised children to promote recovery from trauma.


Hellen Kalinda: The Association Model & Family Therapeutic work

Hellen Kalinda is the Manager of the Undugu Society of Kenya that reaches out to street working children and young people, and girls engaged in sexually exploitative work. These target an average of 1600 children and young people and community members. She hold a degree in Education and a post graduate diploma in Management. Her experience working with this special target group spans 15 years. During this time her work has included running a rehabilitation project for boys rescued from the streets and working with communities so that they could strengthen their safety nets to reduce the number of children moving to the streets. To ensure sustainable outcomes are realized in the lives of the beneficiaries, she steers her team to use various approaches such as the Association Model ( and Family Therapeutic work. These two models have contributed greatly to the reduction of relapse of children who have been placed with their families as well as attributed to the number of street gangs that have transformed into positive role models in the streets of Nairobi, the Capital City of Kenya.


Juliana Trujillo Montes De Oca: JUCONI

Juliana Trujillo Montes De Oca is Program Coordinator at JUCONI Foundation in Mexico, one of Family for Every Child’s founding member organisations. She is a child and family specialist with a certificate in child development. She has over 14 years’ experience working with civil society organisations and in crisis intervention, early childhood education, case management, curriculum development and various coordinating functions. At JUCONI Juliana has been given the opportunity to continue working with developing families, and in reintegration processes of families through a very specific therapeutic approach, which allows children to integrate and develop a role with their families of origin.


Dr Miriam Silver: BERRI – Assessing needs and measuring change to improve outcomes for traumatised children

Dr Miriam Silver is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who works with children and families, and the organisations that support them. She had 16 years’ experience in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, where she managed services for Looked After and Adopted Children until 2011. She is now Director of her own company, LifePsychol Ltd, and has focused on making scientifically validated outcome metrics including BERRI – a set of online tools to help identify children’s needs, track progress and evaluate the efficacy of placements and interventions. Alongside this, she has been the founding Clinical Director of a parenting charity, and the Clinical Director of a large children’s residential care provider where she successfully designed and rolled out a psychology service to 33 sites across the UK. She is a Senior Research Fellow at UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. She has been an expert witness to the Family Court in around 250 sets of Care Proceedings. She has also contributed to numerous policy documents, including NICE and SCIE guidance. She has trained thousands of carers/professionals about attachment and the impact of childhood trauma. Her critically acclaimed book “Attachment in Common Sense and Doodles” was published by Jessica Kingsley in 2013.