SOS - DISCLAIMER AND CHILD AND ADULT SAFEGUARDING GUIDELINES

When you purchase a course from the I Matter Project, your use is always subject to our Terms and Conditions and to the following:


S0S - WHEN YOU MUST SEEK LOCAL HELP:

The material in I Matter Courses touches on material that can be experienced as being of a sensitive nature.   You should therefore ensure that this is the right time for you or others to take part in a course such as this and that you have appropriate support in place should it be needed.  

If a child or an adult is frequently displaying intense anxiety, significant depression or withdrawal, aggression or threats of aggression to others, or harm or threats of harm to self, or if there have been sudden unexplained changes in their behaviour you must seek local face to face help.   If in doubt it is always important to seek advice early through your local educational or medical services.    If you decide you want to make some changes that might provoke a short-term escalation in current challenges, for example by imposing some tighter boundaries, you should obtain appropriate support for yourself and for your child first.  


Disclaimer

I am a qualified clinical psychologist registered in the UK and as such I am regulated by the Health Professions Council.   I provide all courses and consultations through my company I Matter Training Ltd.    Training courses and related documents are by their nature inherently only guidelines as they have been created as general principles and not with your particular circumstances in mind. 

You should be aware that the I Matter Project and linked courses represent a personal synthesis of a great deal of complex information.  As such, the integration is not formally accepted nor formally rejected by any professional body with which I am associated.

Due to the nature of training and coaching, I, Cathy Betoin, nor I Matter Training Ltd do not guarantee any particular result. I will endeavour to ensure that all information or guidance that I provide is accurate and up-to-date but I shall not be liable for any claims arising from such information being inaccurate or not up-to-date or otherwise.

The contents of this site and of our courses are therefore for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing found on www.imattertraining.com is intended to be a substitute for your local professional psychological, psychiatric or medical advice, assessment, diagnosis, or treatment.    Reliance on any information provided by The I Matter Project or by any person or professional appearing on our website is therefore solely at your own risk.

On the occasion when I provide brief consultations I may not always be party to all of the information pertinent to a situation.  I may give advice but I have no control over whether you interpret the advice as I or others may have intended.  Therefore you agree that you remain responsible at all times for the actions that you choose to take in relation to yourself or your child.

In particular, always seek the advice of your GP, physician or other qualified local mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, developmental delay or mental disorder. Never disregard professional medical or educational advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our website or heard in a consultation.   If you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. 

Unless otherwise specified, the only support that will be included in the price of basic I Matter Training Courses is technical support  if you have problems downloading and saving the documents or viewing the videos you can contact the Help Desk. If you are working with a member project, further study support may be made available through them.

You agree therefore that you or those you are funding are participating in the I Matter Project Courses or associated consultations at your own risk and that I shall not be liable under any circumstances for any matter arising out of participation (other than for matters for which I am not legally able to exclude or limit liability).


​SAFEGUARDING AND RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY

I Matter Training Ltd (The I Matter Project) and all directors and employees adhere to formal safeguarding responsibilities under the framework set out by HM Government 2015 Working Together policy.   We work with partners to protect children from abuse and to identify those Children and Families who are in Need of additional support services.  Staff are recruited with care and attentiveness to child protection and safeguarding requirements and all take part in regular training to ensure that our practices are well-informed and remain up to date.

If in the course of our contact with any parent or professional we become concerned about abuse or vulnerability of a child or adult our staff will make the appropriate referrals to local safeguarding teams.  However most of our contact with parents is indirect and therefore any concerns will usually be discussed with member projects who will themselves have the responsibility for any referrals as appropriate.

The I Matter Project also recognises a particular type of commonly arising safeguarding need which we refer to as an Parent-Child or Adult-Child Relationship Concern.   We use this term when the relationship between an adult and a child is in a persistently poor or stressed state thus presenting a potential source of emotional and/or physical harm for children and for adults.  We use the well validated SDQ as a screening tool in association with an in-house assessment tool the I Matter Q as part of our initial registration process to help us discern levels or degrees of adult-child relationship concern or overwhelm.  When this questionnaire evidences scores of less than 40/60 on the I Can Control and Calm Myself Checklist, we highlight that this is a relationship under strain where there is a need for professionals and parents to attend to developmental skill gaps and provide a social curriculum.  Low scores on the parent readiness for change scale of 9 or less typically highlight a parent who is stressed and in need of additional support.

In addition we also recognise a more complex form of safeguarding need which arises when organisations and systems are engaging in poorly considered practices which can present harm to children.  Unsafe organisational and systemic practices can arise when professionals are poorly trained about adult child relationships and about child development.  They can arise when policies are misinterpreted leading to over-emphasis of the child in neglect of the key role for the child's well-being of the adult's confidence.   If we become aware of organisations who are practising in what we believe to be unsafe ways for children we will seek dialogue but if this dialogue cannot be satisfactorily progressed, we may choose not to work with them.

​We are clear that in adult-child relationships, adults have more responsibility for the quality of the relationship than children.  We are clear that adults must be held accountable for learning the skills of greater effectiveness with their child.   However when living or working with complex or challenging children we also recognise that in a climate where it is difficult for parents to access training and support, there is a very real heightened risk of stress and confusion in adults as well as in children.  In addition, a common risk factor for behaviour in children and adults that is associated with high risk escalated situations occurs when a parent no longer feels they can exert effective influence and the child is no longer responding positively to the adult as a helpful figure.  

Stressed adults can sometimes find themselves experiencing blocked care or blocked compassion that may present as very angry and resentful feelings towards a child who is resistant to their influence.  This state can sometimes lead to parental or professional behaviour towards children or towards other adults that can be seen as punishing or revengeful.  It is not acceptable but it is not uncommon.  We recognise that lack of developmental understanding and hierarchy reversals are key risk factor for behaviour towards children that can become unhealthy, unsafe or sometimes actively abusive.

When an adult is not effective in their role, we also often observe that steps taken by adults to impose limits, can sometimes lead to significant escalations in behaviour as the child or young person actively resists the changes that are being imposed.   When tighter limits or are imposed inconsistently or with lack of attunement or developmental sensitivity, there is a particular risk of more escalated and resistant disengaged behaviour in the child.   Holding firm limits consistently in a supportive therapeutic manner for a child with additional complex needs is a vital part of being able to see subsequent reductions in challenges and improvements in relationships. 

In the I Matter Project our core objective is therefore to identify, name and then work with others to reduce adult-child relationship concern by helping stressed adults become more effective in providing very strong, understanding, developmentally sensitive, authoritative care with clear consistent boundaries that help children learn to respect themselves and others.  We NEVER condone the imposition of authoritarian limits or consequences that are imposed in a coercive, or punishing or angry fashion.   Sometimes however there is a fine line between what is supportive and appropriate and what is angry or inappropriate.  Adults may not always agree on where these limits lie.   We therefore remain professionally vigilant at all times to the attitude and intention with which it appears that actions are taken and to the discipline of communication when disagreements arise.  


The Active Steps We Take as a Training Company: 

We consider our clients to be responsible adults who have a desire to engage in some reflective learning in order to help themselves to better help one or more children at home and at work.

After some trialling we now require professionals and parents who are taking part in any supported learning to provide some registration information prior to commencing on any of our paid courses.  We use this registration information to make clear recommendations sent by email to you (and shared with your Lead Professional if you are accessing the training via a member project) about the amount and type of study support you are likely to need to get good value from online learning. 

Parents and professionals who purchase our self-help or Tasters courses are asked to formally sign up to our Terms and Conditions before any course material can be released. 


We monitor online contributions of professionals and parents intermittently and respond as follows:

Please be aware that participation in our workshop or courses does not create a professional-client relationship and so following scrutiny of your registration information, we do NOT read all of your online contributions.   So if you have a concern you must address them with professionals in your community. 

However we do monitor online contributions periodically and will act on a concern as follows:

i) If we have a minor concern about something you write or say we will note it, and discuss our concerns within our own professional team
ii) If we are still concerned a professional will discuss our concerns with you and support you in thinking about alternative approaches or steps 
iii) If we are very concerned, we may decide to no longer provide services and will make a referral to your local safeguarding team

If we decide to do this, it will be at our own discretion and will not require your agreement.   We will provide a brief explanation, but will be under no obligation to provide you with detailed explanations.   

​Last checked 06/09/2019