‘The MotC should be seen as a fundamental assessment within child protection. It is one of the very few assessments that is able to consider how both the parent thinks and feels about their child and how the child makes them feel. It is within this area of knowledge that risks posed of serious maltreatment can be safely assessed and managed.

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The MotC should be an assessment that every social worker working with children should be able to readily utilise, it can make the difference in getting it right from wrong.’

Barry Tilzey, Consultant Practice Development Lead – London Borough of Wandsworth

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‘I have trained in the MotC assessment with Cambridge Centre of Attachment, and also use them to code interviews with both parents and foster carers. I have found the measure extremely useful in understanding the ‘space’ between a parent and child, and have valued being able to discuss the results with Dr Grey and Juliet Kesteven to think about the management of risk, but especially to develop a plan for therapeutic work where appropriate.

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Their skills and experience have helped me make sense of the most complex cases, and have enabled the multiagency service I lead to really help the parents and carers to find ways have an enjoyable and ‘good enough’ relationship with their children where this previously wasn’t possible.’

Elaine Sullivan – Clinical Lead, Fostering and Adoption Service Suffolk County Council

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“The Meaning of the Child Interview has proved to be one of the most powerful and informative clinical tools used in our clinical practice, and has helped make sense of some very complex cases.  Dr Grey and Juliet Kesteven have a particularly engaging and effective teaching style, and a generous approach to sharing their extensive clinical and academic knowledge and experience.  I would highly recommend attending training / seminars at the CCA.”

Dr Emma Hunnisett, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Child and Family Psychology Clinic, Norwich

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I am a Social Worker and have worked in Child Protection for all of my career of 15 years and have completed a lot of training over the course of my Social Work career.  I completed the Motc training with Dr Grey about 2 years ago and I loved every minute of it! It challenged me in how I thought, how I assessed families/parents and how I interpreted the information.

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The Motc Interview has given me a structured and focused assessment which has enable me to explore the relationship between the parent and child. It has given me more confidence as a professional and I feel more confident in my assessments. I cannot believe what wealth of information I have gathered using the Motc interview. I would genuinely and whole heartily recommend this training for everyone who works with families.

Social Worker, Northern Ireland

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“I trained in the Motc in 2011, and have drawn upon the tool in my work with parents and children across safeguarding and mental health services.  I used the MotC in areas of parent and child risk, and it has strengthened the psychological assessments I have undertaken of complex parents within court. Both Dr Grey and Juliet Kesteven are extremely knowledgeable in understanding and assessing attachment and I have continued to attend the supervision and rightrefresher days over the last few years to aid my work and expand my knowledge in motc and attachment.  

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One of the key changes to my practice is thinking about who the driving force of change within any intervention should be, whether this be the child or parent or both. I would certainly recommend the training to those who wish to understand risk in areas of parent and child work.”


Dr Satbinder Kaur Bhogal, Clinical Psychologist, Birmingham

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‘[The MotC] was really very positive and helpful in trying got move this case forward, because it has been there for years and things had just been going round and round in circles…  

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I will definitely recommend this as a very useful tool in trying to understand the parent and their relationship and attachment issues in terms of making plans and interventions as well. Sometimes you keep trying this track and it doesn’t really work, but once you’ve got the MotC and the recommendations, which in this case were positive, and we implemented the recommendations and we have positive outcomes for the children, which was the whole aim of the process. It was really helpful.’


 Social Worker, Milton Keynes

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The Meaning of the Child is a powerful yet accessible tool that offers practitioners the insight to not only what kind of parents people are, but also why they do what they did. It links the parents’ own history and psychological scripts with their approach to their children, and provides a scientific evaluation of risk. I found the concepts are easy to grasp and the system can be confidently applied in real practice after a period of supported training. It is also wonderfully cost effective compared to many other assessment methods.

Fan Zhang, Assistant Psychologist, Psychology Clinic of East Anglia,

and PhD student, University of Roehampton

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—“It has really opened [things] up …  I have always had my doubts about, views about, but this has given me a very clear picture about what is going on at home …  It has given me very good information, and something to base my assessment on.”

Social Worker, Milton Keynes

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The [Meaning of the Child Interview (MotC)] course was enlightening, and very useful way to understand the parent/child relationship.

Sharina Moretti,
Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Surrey and Hampshire