Support for children moving families

Practitioner Route

The By Your Side Practitioner route is for any professional who would like to develop their skills using the By Your Side model and for those who wish to become a By Your Side Practitioner.

It includes specialised two-session training and then Practitioner Supervision.


It starts with our two-session training to help practitioners develop their skills in providing transition work to families using the By Your Side model. The transition work that practitioners are involved in may vary. The transition may be from foster care to adoption or may be another situation, such as short to long-term foster care, foster care to residential setting or transition back to birth family. The training involves direct practise alongside use of video and discussion and will aim to be very interactive.

Who is the training for?

The training is aimed at experienced practitioners including psychologists, therapists, social workers and therapeutic support workers. The training is also suitable for foster carers who are facilitating multiple transitions. The parent/carer workshop will be more appropriate if this is your first transition.

Practitioners attending this course will:

  • Ideally have already undertaken Theraplay Level 1 Training and have some experience in delivering direct work based on Theraplay principles
  • Ideally have also completed DDP Level One (or have a good understanding of the approach)

If you have not done either training but have an awareness of the approaches you can still attend.

There will be some elements of the training that will be unfamiliar to you but you will be able to draw key principles of the model to use in your practice.

Training objectives

The training will cover the following areas:

Session One

  • Overview of the framework and theory underpinning By Your Side
  • Introduction to the seven guiding principles and sequence of sessions
  • Video illustration of the pattern of sessions providing the work remotely with an actor family: sessions with foster carer and child, across introductions and after the move. This is an extended sequence of video examples.
  • Discussion of helpful rituals and ways to manage adult dynamics

Session Two

  • In-person video examples illustrating the pattern of sessions: with foster carer and child, across introductions, after the move
  • How to structure sessions that integrate Theraplay and DDP based approaches
  • How to facilitate a joint foster carer/adopter session during introductions
  • Continuing the work into the new adoptive placement
  • Using mini figures and puppets to communicate with children
  • Using a range of rituals to provide continuity across contexts and help develop the narrative
  • Developing a therapeutic story
  • Managing adult dynamics

Learning objective 1: Understand how to apply the By Your Side principles to your practice

Learning objective 2: Increase confidence in how to facilitate direct work sessions across transitions

Learning objective 3: Increase confidence in how to use helpful narrative across transitions

Attend a training

You can find all By Your Side Practitioner Route training with places in our main Training section.

View upcoming By Your Side Practitioner Route training

Practitioner Supervision

For information about Practitioner Supervision contact .

Becoming a By Your Side Practitioner

In order to say you are a By Your Side Practitioner,

Your By Your Side supervisor has positively evaluated your work


You must have separately completed Theraplay Level 1

Resources you may be interested in

Need to get in touch?

If you have any questions about the By Your Side model, the training or resources please get in touch through our contact form.