Relationship-based early intervention services: lessons from NZ

Early Intervention (EI) has the potential to improve children’s long term outcomes socially, emotionally and educationally as noted by recent English policy reports. However, there is a paucity of specialist EI services and educator training for children with complex disabilities, such as those with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders or children born extremely prematurely (Carpenter et al., 2011).

The Champion Centre provides relationship-based EI services to infants and young children with complex disabilities. Parents and children visit the Centre each week and have one-on-one individualised sessions with each of the members of a multi-disciplinary team. Children who attend the Champion Centre in their early years are more likely to subsequently attend mainstream primary education than children who have not received comparable EI services. This project seeks to explore the lessons that can be learned from this world-leading practice and transferred to a UK context.  During her visit to NZ Carolyn will interview practitioners and parents and observe children during their therapy sessions. Carolyn will also work with Positive Path International during her visit http://www.positivepath.co.nz/. The project is funded by a 2015 Travelling Fellowship from Winston Churchill Memorial Trust http://www.wcmt.org.uk/

Find details of the project here http://www.bcu.ac.uk/research/stories/champion-centre

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