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. http://www.videointeractionguidance.net/index.html
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 http://www.parentinguk.org/files/downloads/JennyCrossVIG.pdf