This book introduces the Relational Learning Framework (RLF), an assessment tool which helps foster care practitioners, social workers and foster carers to examine what foster children have learned in their early life about relationships and particularly through maltreatment. Grounded in attachment theory and drawing on cognitive theory this book will help practitioners to understand and respond to the challenging behaviour presented by these children and remove barriers to an empathic response.
Early chapters provide context in a theoretical discourse on the causes and consequences of psychological and attachment difficulties for children in care, including a discussion of maltreatment and foster care. The theoretical basis of the technique will be outlined and subsequent chapters will explain how to undertake RLF including the wide-ranging practice evidence, a worked example, common themes and trouble shooting.
This will be an invaluable source for clinical practitioners, social workers, foster care practitioners and foster parents who want to make sense of the complex information about children in foster care to improve their relationships. It will also provide insight into foster children's mental health and behaviour for academics and postgraduate students in related disciplines.
Wendy Kelly is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the field of maltreatment and foster care for 30 years. She has taught seminars on early relationships, maltreatment and foster care to over 2,000 practitioners in New Zealand and Australia. Having worked at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand as a Clinical Practice Advisor for 14 years she was awarded her doctorate in July 2015.
Chapter 1. Introduction.- Chapter 2. The effects of early maltreatment.- Chapter 3. Maltreatment, foster care and mental health.- Chapter 4. Attachment.- Chapter 5. Relational Learning Framework.- Chapter 6. Common themes.- Chapter 7. Workbook for working through an RLF.- Chapter 8. Clinical tools.- Chapter 9. Conclusion.