Kerryn Roberts

Biography

Kerryn currently works across the therapeutic children’s programs at Relationships Australia SA. With a background in Parenting, Childbirth Education, Midwifery and Nursing, Kerryn is an experienced coordinator and group facilitator providing child led parenting group programs with parents of children 0-4 years. As a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with Baby In Mind (formally International Association of Infant Massage), Kerryn delights in being present the moment a spark of inspiration occurs. A jack of all infant wellbeing ‘trades’, Kerryn’s dream is to continue travelling the world sitting down locally with babies powerfully placed as teachers and with parent as the experts.

Abstract

Using everyday items and experiences, along with sensory exploration and positive shared experiences, The Garden Program strengthens the relationship between parents and their infant/toddlers who have experienced homelessness. The difference between facilitating an 8 week therapeutically intentional program and running play activities will be demonstrated in this workshop. The Garden relies on children’s natural curiosity and desires to connect. Discussions and activities provide moments for bonding and attachment to occur between parents and their child, who are encouraged to notice, wonder and to read and respond appropriately to however their child is leading. This is modelled by the facilitator who provides a safe environment for parents so that they may in turn provide a safe and nurturing environment for their child. Using reflective and observational skills, facilitators respond to and promote strengths in the unfolding relationship. Taking the lead from each child, facilitators respond individually to each parent/child dyad. Weekly sessions repeat predictable sequences of activities, new activities are added and time spent in reflective journaling.
The outcomes of this interactive workshop are that participants will have an increased understanding to let go of the need to refocus a natural urge to instruct teach parents and children during group activities. In small groups, as well as role play, they will practice maintaining a position of enquiry, using ‘wait, watch and wonder’.
The participants will also be able to identify and apply everyday activities that encourage the possibility of relational child-lead connections, supported by attachment and attunement theories in their programs.
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