Family minds facilitator Training

This psycho-educational training intervention was developed specifically for foster and adoptive parents and was designed to be short-term and practical.  It was evaluated as part of Dr. Adkins’ dissertation project at University College London and the Anna Freud Center and results indicate this intervention can increase parent’s reflective capacities and lower parenting stress.  It is now a promising practice and is trauma informed!


Improving mentalizing skills can be very beneficial for foster parents, as they frequently deal with children who come into their home with challenging behaviors, attachment issues and negative internal working models of relationships.  This intervention can result in:

  • Parents that are less likely to jump to conclusions about their foster children’s negative behaviors
  • Parents that can see the deeper meaning behind their child’s behavior, which enables them to problem solve those issues more successfully which leads to more meaningful and successful relationships with their foster children
  • Parents that are more likely to interact with their children in a more sensitive and therapeutic manner; increasing secure attachment
  • Less parental stress, reduced placement breakdowns and improved mental health of foster children

Key Features

  • 3 separate trainings of about 3 hours each spread out over 6 weeks – can be adapted
  • Psycho-educational; can be taught to and given by social workers

  • Cost effective and short-term

  • Designed to increase parent’s knowledge and ability to mentalize and be reflective

  • Helps parents go deeper in understanding the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of their children, as well as themselves

  • Content is cumulative and includes info on traumaattachment and mentalization

  • Includes slides, handouts, videos, discussions, classroom activities and at-home activities

Interested in the Family Minds training?