What is I Matter Professional-Child Coaching? Why Does Your School Need it?

In the I Matter Project we have 3 training pathways: Parent-Child Coaching, Professional-Child Coaching and Professional-Parent-Child Coaching.   Professional-Child Coaching is something that most professionals in schools and residential care settings do without thinking about it.  Coaching involves guiding the child towards the understanding and skills that the professional knows will be useful and helpful to them in their lives.  

I Matter Professional-Child Coaching has many similiarites.  There are also 5 key differences:

i)  In comparison to regular professional-child coaching I Matter Professional-Child Coaches start out by being intrroduced to a clear map or framework around child development, brain development and the adult role. This framework is designed to help them to understand and then decide what to coach and why. Caring for children especially complex children with social emotional difficulties can be very challenging with so many decisons to make.  It really helps to have an explicit map that explains how lots of ideas fit together in the area of social-emotional development.

ii) Professionals who are learning about I Matter Coaching are provided with some easy to understand assessment tools.  These easy to understand developmentally informed tools are designed to make it very clear what key skills are important and why and how they are linked.   They are also designed to highlight when further assessment is needed.  

iii) Due to the advanced training involved, I Matter Professional-Child Coaches find that they are much more aware of what is happening and have much greater understanding of what they are seeing during the everyday challenging incidents of life with the child in class or residential settings.   This helps them to have clarity and focus in their role.

iv) I Matter Coaching places a very high emphasis on the role, skills and wellbeing of the adult coach themselves.  The special thing about this approach is that it is very clear from the outset that in order to be effective and appealing you have to do the work that supports your own wellbeing first!   Blaming others doesn't get you to where you want to go.

v) I Matter Professional-Child Coaching provides professionals with a framework for a longer-term approach founded on strengthening the security and effectiveness of the adult-child attachment relationship at home and at school in the support of promoting social emotional development.  This approach aims to join together other learning that parents and professionals access in other places.  

vi) I Matter Professional Child Coaching is relevant for all children of any age where there is a concern to support social-emotional development.  Children may be very typical, or they may present with some complex challenges. They may have a formal diagnosis of ASD or ADHD or ODD or something else, or they may have no clear diagnosis.  This is a framework that focusses on primarily on the adults undesstanding and skiills.

I Matter Professional-Child Coach training is based on a 3 step process of learning the framework, understanding the tools, and on learning how to work for results.

I developed I Matter Professional-Child Coach training because of my concern based on years of professional practice.  My concern is that we have large numbers of children in school and residential settings who have not mastered the foundations of social-emotional development.   More seriously and more significantly, in spite of an industry dedicated to assessment of children these social emotional gaps are being systematically missed even in our most vulnerable children.  

Failure to see the extent of the gaps means that many children are spending large portions of their day in schools on curriculum based activity that are missing the point and missing the extent of the real underlying difficulties.  If you invest in professional-child coach training you will gain staff on your team who will be able to help you start to recognise these gaps more systematically.  Be warned however: You may be shocked at what this will show.

​If you would like to learn more take a look at our courses


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