1M The first 1000 days


Mandy Seyfang,
Emerging Minds

Ruth Crooke,
Emerging Minds

Wednesday November 21 2018

Time: 2:40pm – 3:10pm

Room: Kuranda Ballroom

1M The first 1000 days

Positioning supervision to ensure no infant is left behind



The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health has embarked on intensive consultation with clinical and non-clinical practitioners to build an evidence base around effective child aware supervision practices. This supervision ensures that children’s social and emotional wellbeing is centred when practitioners engage with parents. This focus is critical given research showing the foundational importance of the first thousand days for children’s future development.

The opportunities to “make a difference” in the first thousand days is assisted by the increased likeliness of parents’ involvement with services. However, early intervention can only be enacted where practitioners routinely maintain curiosity regarding the health and wellbeing of parents who access services for issues including intergenerational poverty, trauma, mental health, drug and alcohol addiction and family violence. Reflective supervision is critical in supporting practitioners in the maintenance of this practice.

This presentation will describe case studies of reflective supervision that have allowed practitioners to explore opportunities for child focus practice as well as the barriers. These case studies have supported practitioners to maintain focus on the child in the midst of complex adult issues whilst still working with parents in strength-based and non-directive ways.

The video-based case studies will support practitioners, supervisees and supervisors to explore the processes that promote child mental health outcomes and further build opportunities for making ‘invisible children’ visible during contact with health, wellbeing and/or community services. It will detail the elements of effective reflective supervision that relies on the quality of the relationship between supervisee and supervisor that enables workers and organisations to identify and respond to the needs of infants and families. The presentation will be delivered in a highly engaging way utilising the considerable e-Learning resources developed through the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.


Mandy Seyfang is a Senior Workforce Consultant and Ruth Crooke also works for Emerging Minds as a Workforce Consultant. They support workers and organisations in the field of promotion, prevention and early intervention as it relates to the mental health of infants and children.