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Delivered in partnership by Barnardo's and
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Resources for Professionals

At Hampshire Healthy families we work in partnership to build resilient communities and resilient families.

Our Community Health Development Workers are out in their locality areas offering support to settings and community groups to share their knowledge and resources in promoting the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

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Five to Thrive

Devised by Kate Cairn Associates this is an approach to supporting healthy attachment and brain development, from birth and throughout life.

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Hampshire Healthy Heroes

Designed specifically to support early years settings and groups to promote healthy behaviours in children aged 3+. We will bring this fun and interactive session to you and provide follow on support.

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A child’s brain is amazing!

Research shows that positive relationship between parents and children supports their healthy brain development through all the different stages of their childhood.

Understanding brain development can be difficult. Barnardo’s have therefore teamed up with Kate Cairns Associates (KCA) who are experts in the field.

KCA has taken all of the complex evidence and research about healthy brain development and created a simple and effective approach called Five to Thrive.

We have trained the Hampshire Healthy Family Staff in the Five to Thrive approach and are delighted to share it with you here.



Primary School

Secondary School

Young Adult

Five To Thrive Approach

Five to Thrive is a parenting approach developed by Kate Cairns (author & foster parent). The five core building blocks help you to understand how everything you do with your baby creates and strengthens connections in their brain.


Responding and assessing needs
The child produces attachment behaviours and the parent responds


Engaging and matching
The child and the parent become physically attuned through proximity and touch


Self-regulating stress
The adult regulates their own internal state, balancing the nervous system


Authentic non-verbal communication
Right-brain activity in the adult is expressed non-verbally through the face and body, and stimulates right-brain activity in the child


Verbal communication
Left-brain activity in the adult stimulates matching activity in the child

Develop skills in promoting confident and reflective parenting

How can you help parents to gain confidence through understanding brain development?

  • Using Five to Thrive as an approach to develop parental confidence.
  • Using the concept in your day to day practise.
  • Developing your work setting to promote optimal brain function for all of your day to day contacts.

How can you encourage parents to become more reflective?

  • Using Five to Thrive as an approach to help parents reflect on interaction with their children
  • Developing your work setting to promote reflective practice at all levels
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Next steps for practice

  • Planning your next steps in working to promote positive parenting
  • Five to Thrive helps you as practitioners to think about parental capacity in new way.
  • Reflection of your interactions with parents and families enabling you to support families to strengthen their parental capacity to meet nurture needs.
  • Enables you as practitioners to notice how your own relationships with parents are providing a model for emotional nurture.
  • Encourages you as practitioners to appreciate that all humans are both vulnerable and resilient, and that the capacity to self-regulate is not static but dynamic, as resilience and vulnerability shift and change.
  • Five to Thrive is not a golden chalice or a magic wand, but it can help you as practitioners to find ways of using every interaction to promote emotional nurture.
  • Finally you will contribute to building resilient people, resilient families, and resilient communities.

Strengthening Parental Relationships Toolkit

Strengthening Parental Relationships is Hampshire’s Reducing Parental Conflict offer, a government funded programme which aims to support parents and carers with their relationship. Some level of arguing and conflict between parents is often a normal part of everyday life. However, there is strong evidence to show how inter-parental conflict that is frequent, intense and poorly resolved can have a significant negative impact on children’s mental health and long-term life chances.

The aim of this Toolkit is to provide practical tools and resources to support Hampshire professionals identify and respond to children who have experienced, or are at risk of, harm related to parental conflict.

The material is free to access and available to all practitioners from any agency/organisation working with unborn babies, children and their families across the Hampshire Local Authority area.

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