Certificate in Systemic Child Focused Practice

When: Mondays (twice a month)

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

Length: September-June, 18 teaching days.

The Course commences in late September and is accredited as a foundation level course by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT). It is the only one of its kind in the country.

Participants must have experience of working with children, and be currently working with children in a family context to be eligible to apply. They should also have an appropriate professional training or equivalent, such as social work, nursing, psychiatry or clinical psychology.

The course on its own does not aim to train participants to become therapists, but to enable them to incorporate systemic ideas and techniques into the participants’ professional practice. It is aimed at those working with children in a wide range of contexts.

It forms the foundation year of the Institute’s four year clinical training programme.

Course Chair and Tutor:

Lucy Robertson-Richie: Bsc. Hons; PG Cert Sys; Msc; PG Cert SS

Course Tutors:

Emma Sales Jessica Anglian d’Christian


  • Introduce participants to working with children and young people based on child focused systemic ideas.
  • Familiarise participants with the principles underlying this and the main approaches used in systemic practice.
  •  Developing an understanding of the self of the practitioner,
  • Explore the processes of change and the nature of the therapeutic relationship
  • Encourage a critical approach to theory and practice in the light of inequalities and differences of race, class and gender,
  •  Encourage an anti-discriminatory approach to working with clients.
  • Encourage participants to reflect on and learn about their own responses in utilising a child focused perspective;


Divided into two units; Theory and Skills, running concurrently,
The teaching in both will develop the participants’ understanding of:

  • Theory and methods of systemic intervention
  • Different applications of systemic child focused practice
  • Ways of observing and understanding the interaction between people in family, couple and professional relationships
  • Methods of intervention
  • Different applications of a systemic perspective
  • Personal development of the practitioner
  • Anti oppressive practice