Professor Michael Tarren-Sweeney is a Professor of Child and Family Psychology at the University of Canterbury. He is a clinical child psychologist, psychiatric epidemiologist and child developmental theorist. His life’s work has been to increase our understanding of the psychological development and well-being of children in care, those adopted from care, and other children who have ongoing need for care, with a view to improving lives. Important contributions in this field include: the Children in Care study and the Assessment Checklist for Children which have helped improved understanding of adopted and ‘in care’ children. He has advised government departments in Ireland, Scotland, England and Australia (Federal as well as NSW and SA State Ministries) on how to  improve the lives of children in State care.

Professor Tarren-Sweeney will draw on his expertise in order to provide context to:

  • the impact of maltreatment, neglect, trauma on the psychological development of children (before entering, and whilst in) State care
  • what is required from a clinical perspective to meet the needs of children with such profiles once in State care, as well as from a growth and wellbeing perspective (including attachment theory)
  • Common systemic factors that can compromise the quality of care delivered (including the impact of multiple placements on attachments)

Presentation starts at 09:30

Statement of Professor Michael Tarren-Sweeney

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