Working with fathers – research report from AIMH Scotland

‘Local research in Glasgow demonstrated the importance of social support as a protective factor for the mental health and wellbeing of mothers.2 The evidence around the role and impact of social and peer support for fathers is lacking’…………
On behalf of Christine Puckering and Penny Rackett, (Leads AIMH Scottish local IMH Hub) please find attached paper for your interest.

Fathers NE Glasgow Summary Paper Sep 172

For more on AIMH visit there website

Nurturing Attachment and Resilience Skills, Queen Margaret University CANCELLED


Nurturing Attachment aEvent 6 December Queen Margaret Universitynd Resilience Skills in the Early Years and Childcare Workforce.PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Purpose of this event.

To raise awareness of what attachment and resilience is and the impact it can have on the Early Years and Childcare Workforce and the children in their care.

Who should attend?

All those involved directly or indirectly in the Childcare and Early Years Workforce

Quality Event Dec 14 booking form V4

100 years of Scotland’s early years movement.

Suzane Zeedyk an acclaimed researcher in the psychology of early years is coming to Musselburgh to give a presentation on ‘100 years of Scotland’s early years movement’. Suzane will explore the history of early years campaigning in Scotland and what relevance that has for a modern movement for early years.

Public services like local authorities, NHS, Housing agencies and the Police service are all signed up to making Scotland the best possible place to grow up. Yet to achieve the kind of improvements needed to meet this aim needs the active involvement of parents and communities. There is a long record of such involvement – many people have campaigned for Scotland’s children over the years and some have made a real and lasting difference. Suzanne will look at the social history of early years and then reflect on how a modern understanding of children’s early development might influence the future development of Scotlands early years movement.

Following the presentation there will be a chance to discuss what is happening in east Lothian to improve support for parents and the environment for children’s early development.


Booking Form

Not too be missed a truly inspirational speaker – a creche will be available.

Sir Harry Burns talks about building assets for children’s mental health

 This is a video of a talk given by Sir Harry Burns, (Chief Medical Officer for Scotland) at the launch of Scotland’s new mental health indicators. It is 30 minutes long, but in it he gives an excellent account of the ‘assets model’ of creating good health. Quite radical and thought provoking.


Wee Pans Stay and Play

Wee Pans StaynPlay on PhotoPeach

Today at Prestonpans Infant School, we started our new Friday afternoon nursery session for young parents and their children under 3 years of age. What a joy it was to welcome a young couple with their 12 day old baby. We are all awed by the fact that this wee lad will be coming to our school to play on Friday afternoons as he grows and develops and comes to nursery then school.  What a privilege.  Why do we wait till they’re 3?  Another single dad came along too and it was great to see the dads chatting about their bairns. 

A ray of hope indeed…..

Thank you Ronnie Hill for making this all possible…..

Delivering on Early Years

A conference at the National Museum of Scotland on the 7th March organised by Holyrood saw a range of speakers from across theUK and panel discussions on a wide range of topics of interest to professionals with an interest on improving and promoting early years care.

Human Connections

The day was ably chaired by Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and was started off with a look at human interconnections and the connected baby with a moving and heartfelt presentation by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyck who used and promoted her new video “The Connected Baby” (

This was followed by illustrative case studies on the importance of attachment from Paul Gilroy of Crossreach (Paul Gilroy Crossreach) and on working with communities by Mary Glasgow of Barnardos Scotland (Mary Glasgow Barnardos)

The Policy Context

The second part of the morning focused on the wider policy context and was kicked off by Councillor Isabel Hutton, COSLA Spokesperson for Education, Children and Young People.  Cllr Hutton emphasised the importance and centrality of the early years acrossScotlandin order to make a long term positive difference toScotland’s future.  This was followed by an interesting panel discussion and Q&A session with a range of participants form Health, Education, Local Government and the Third Sector.

Funding Opportunities and Challenges

The afternoon began with a session focused on funding with input form and a panel discussion with representatives from the Scottish Community Foundation, Inspiring Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund.  Much useful information was shared on the mechanisms, procedures, priorities and thinking behind some of the more substantial grant funders inScotland.

Making it Happen in Nottingham

Katy Ball Nottingham

The final session of the day looked at howNottinghamhas succeeded in rebranding itself as an earlyInterventionCitywith a full and interesting presentation from Katy Ball the Head of Early Intervention and Market Development with Nottingham City Council.  She illustrated how Nottingham had turned around a series of negative aspects of a city with high levels of deprivation and associated problems to one where an Ofsted Inspection recently said that Nottingham has…”an extensive and outstanding range of early intervention services, making a marked shift with vulnerable children and families”.  This was achieved with an extensive basket of early intervention programmes starting from:

  • universal services offered to all (Healthy Child Programme);
  • moving on up to proportionate universal services offered widely but pushed towards certain groups (Baby Massage);
  • then on to targeted work with specific groups (Family Nurse Partnership);
  • and on finally up to highly specialised programmes working with high end/high cost groups to reduce costs and intergenerational impact (Family Intervention Project)

Making it Happen in Nottingham in Northumberland

Jane Casson Northumberland

Katy was followed by a very inspirational speaker, Jane Casson MBE, a Locality manger for Sure Start Northumberland.  She detailed how a range of rather unexpected partnerships developed across her patch with shared services and often co-location of services such as:

  • Sure Start family centres
  • Ambulance Service
  • Community Transport
  • Environment Agency
  • GP Support Services
  • Midwifery Services
  • Probation Services
  • Local Community Charities

This wide range of close partnership working and facilities sharing has led to very significant cost savings as well as a range of concert positive outcomes for individuals, families and communities including:

  • Reduction in smoking.
  • Reduction in 0-3 admitted to A&E.
  • Safety information available for all families.
  • Training in health and safety and basic first aid available to all families.
  • Reduction in house fires.
  • Reduction in casualty / fatality figures.
  • Home Fire Safety message to hard to reach groups.
  • Address the community safety agenda.

John Boyce / Ann Hume

Public Health Practitioner / Manager

East Lothian Community Health Partnership / Olivebank Children & Families Centre, Musselburgh

Video Interaction Guidance

The service champions that have been such a crucial part of Support from the Start have had regular shared learning time, in which they exchanged ideas, proposals and problems. From the outset the champions were looking for ways for services to be more positively focused on very young children – prebirth – three, recogising the cricitcal importance of these years to childrens development.

Janice Macleod, (School nurse team leader) in particular has been indefatigable in her pursuit of the importance of attachement theory for the practise of frontline staff. She now chairs a multi agency working group which is leading on the development of training and practise development that will support staff to incorporate attachment theory into practise. Janice initiated a range of contacts – local, national and international in her pursuit of the goal of incorporating attachment theory into practise. Very productive relationships have been developed with East Lothian Councils Educational Psychology team, academics from a range of universities, researchers and practioners from a range of agencies and national agencies. In particular Janice established a working relationship with Penny Rackett an educational psychologist from North Suffolk who is particular proponent of the use of video interaction guidance (VIG) as a tool to improve attachment in the very early years.

VIG is a well established method in Psychology. It is also a Scottish invention being based on the work of Colwyn Trevarthen a  Scottsih psychological researcher and I believe an East Lothian resident. It is a method or technique that requires carefully trained practitioners with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, who need access to detailed supervision. However, there  is a simplicity to the method that is appealing – basically it helps parents / carers to see the positve aspects of their communication with very young children and by so doing helping them to build on the strenghts that they do have. An excellent website give a full description of what VIG is and how it is used in various settings and age groups.

The website describes VIG as follows:

Video interaction guidance is an intervention through which a “guider” aims to enhance communication within relationships . It works by engaging clients actively in a process of change towards realizing their own hopes for a better future in their relationships with others who are important to them. Guiders are themselves guided by the values and beliefs around respect and empowerment.   These include a belief that people in troubled situations do want to change, a respect for what clients are managing to achieve in their current difficulties, and a conviction that the power and responsibility for change resides within clients and their situations

This link gives a short but detailed descriptin of the evidence base for VIG an how it works