The Children’s Consultancy has extensive clinical experience working with children, young people, families, and professionals in the statutory and independent sectors. We have been working with parents and carers and their children for over 25 years, providing services to Regional Adoption Support Agencies, Special Guardians, Fostering agencies as well a schools.
The consultancy brings together a multi-disciplinary team of Directors and Consultants. Our founding partners were Sue Holt, a Chartered and Registered Psychologist, and Anna Flanigan, a Child Therapist. Since October 2015 the organisation has been owned and run by Sally Hebeler and Chris West as Directors. In March 2021 the organisation name was changed the ‘The Children’s Consultancy’ to reflect the work we do with all children and their families and carers.
Director. Sally has over 30 years’ experience as a qualified social work practitioner and manager within safeguarding children services, education and adoption. Sally’s earliest work experience with children was in youth work. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership and was Executive Head Teacher in Somerset for a number of Pupil Referral Units, which supported children and families who had suffered with significant attachment issues, trauma and loss. Sally has continued to work in raising awareness of adoption based difficulties in education, and provides support and evidence based strategies to meet the needs of young people of permanence struggling in education. Sally is HCPC registered and trained in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Sally has many years’ experience as an Independent Adoption and Fostering Panel member and has practiced within private, voluntary and local authority agencies. She regularly presents/leads training days/courses on adoption, trauma and attachment related topics. Sally has considerable business, financial and managerial experience which she utilises in her role as Director at The Adoption Consultancy 360 Ltd. Sally is an adoptive parent and is passionate about working with all parties in the adoption triangle: adoptee, adoptive parents, birth relatives and siblings and has a commitment to enable children and their families to enjoy a rich family life.
Director. Chris is a HCPC registered occupational therapist, with over 25 years experience of working with children and young people with a range of needs, including child and adolescent mental health, children who have been adopted and have sensory integration and attachment difficulties, and children with special needs. She has a specialism in working with children and young people who have sensory integration and attachment difficulties as a result of developmental trauma, and offers consultation, individual parent-child assessment and therapeutic intervention, and group intervention strategies for children who have challenges with regulation of arousal states, which affects their ability to engage with others, and in everyday activities such as sleeping, eating, playing, and school. Chris has undertaken advanced level training in both Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI), which is an integrative approach to the treatment of children and adults who have suffered abuse or severe neglect, and Sensory Integration (SI), and uses both these intervention approaches clinically and educationally, to support parents and children, and other professionals, to understand the impact of sensory and attachment issues on the adopted child, their relationships and interactions with others, and their ability to engage in the physical and emotional world around them. Chris is passionate about supporting children who have experienced developmental trauma to develop enhanced co-regulation and self regulation, and to work alongside those caring for and working with them to develop a greater understanding of how to support them in relation to this, to support increased enjoyment and engagement in everyday activities. Chris is a trainer in the SAI approach, and delivers this, along with other sensory informed training, to a range of parents and professionals.
Dr Emmanuelle (Manu) Davison
Consultant. Emmanuelle is an HCPC and BPS registered clinical psychologist currently working part time as a senior clinical psychologist at Exeter child development centre. Within her role as senior clinical psychologist, Emmanuelle contributes to the multidisciplinary assessment of infants and pre-school age children with a wide range of neuro-developmental disabilities. Emmanuelle offers therapeutic interventions to children and families with a range of difficulties, including challenging behaviour, attachment, feeding and sleeping difficulties. Within her role at the Adoption Consultancy, Emmanuelle offers Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). She provides consultation, training and supervision to other professionals and works closely with other settings and services involved in children’s care. Emmanuelle also carries out formal developmental and cognitive assessments that inform the planning and delivery of specialist interventions.
Consultant. Sue Holt trained in Educational Psychology at the Tavistock Clinic in London. Throughout her professional career, she has worked with children in care and has had a particular interest in separation, loss and attachment, having been fortunate in being taught by John Bowlby during her time at the Tavistock. Sue has worked in Educational Psychology services in London, Devon and Bristol and in Child and Family Guidance services in London and Devon. Since 2006 she has specialised in working with adopted children and their families and is now focussing on training for adopted parents, and on providing supervision for professionals working within the field of adoption.
Consultant. Lucy is a HCPC registered occupational therapist, with 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people with a range of needs, including children who are adopted or fostered and have sensory integration and/or attachment difficulties. She is able to offer assessment and intervention on an individual or group basis where sensory integration and attachment difficulties are influencing the way children participate in everyday activities at home or at school.
Consultant. Jane is a HCPC and BACP Registered Counsellor and Specialist Social Worker in the field of fostering and adoption with a strong focus on attachment. She offers therapy to children and families, and Theraplay® Assessments based on the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM). Jane has worked for many years in local authority child care teams offering counselling, support and training to adoptive parents, foster carers and social workers. Currently she specialises in attachment focused therapies namely Theraplay® and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. She also provides therapeutic life story work for children who have experienced disrupted attachments. Jane has extensive experience of running therapeutic parenting courses for parents, and providing training courses for social workers, foster carers and special guardians.
Consultant. Nicola is an HCPC and BPS registered clinical psychologist with a special interest in child development, parenting, chronic or life-limiting illness and supporting families through times of challenge. She has significant experience in the areas of child health and complex development, having worked extensively for a number of years in a leading national hospital dedicated to specialist cardiac and respiratory medicine. Nicola provides assessments re children’s executive functioning challenges and the impact this has on their ability to engage and learn in school, and other areas of everyday life.