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Tuesdays - Commencing 15 February 2021 

1.00 pm WST; 3.30 pm CDT; 4.00 pm EDT

Mentoring Classes - 2 to 2.5 hrs (dep. on class size)




Course Description

Join us for our eight-week intensive course in Parenting by Connection


  • Learn how the latest developmental neuroscience is consistent with the unique, valuable skills we teach for supporting parents and children in your practice.

  • Emotional and behavioural issues are of real concern for increasing numbers of families. Parents need and deserve good support and tools to empower them to address their children's emotional and behavioural issues. Parenting can be a high-stress occupation! And, the evidence shows us, that when stress is high for either the child or the parent, good support is needed for both. But it’s not always easy to bring parents useful, actionable information and help in a therapeutic setting, so that both they and their children can move forward. Participants have found this course to be highly effective in supporting their clients.


Who is the course for?


  • The course is for therapists, social workers, family support workers, early childhood educators, clergy, and medical professionals and other professionals who serve, and care about, families

  • Based on a new way of understanding emotional relationships in the family and strengthening the parent-child connection, the Professionals Intensive course will deliver:·     

             - Expertise in the Parenting by Connection approach. You will practice in your own family and in your

                professional practice.

            -  Presentation of the latest neuroscience, with a focus on practical and experiential application.

            - Guidance on using these practices both in your family and with your clients.

            - Opportunities to share your own experience and to delve deep by asking questions.


How will the course be delivered?


  • An online classroom, which provides


           -  Full access to Hand in Hand Parenting’s 6-week Parenting by Connection Starter Class. 

           -  This includes videos and written materials, including the Starter Class Parents and Professionals Handbook.

           -  Accompanied by other relevant materials for on-going discussion


Complemented by


  • Mentoring via weekly Zoom video conferences.


           -  Two qualified instructors will lead a class of 6-8 participants.


Class Format


  • A portion of each mentoring class will be devoted to your feedback, specific questions and experience.

  • Another portion will be devoted to your processing and reflecting on your experience with the practical application of the tools and the approach.




  • Rich learning will take place as you spend several hours weekly practising new skills with the parents and children in your family and profession. 

  • You may want to begin thinking about scheduling regular time with a child to deepen your learning experience.

  • Additional educational materials and research will be made available to match your particular interests and client needs. 


Total weekly time commitment


4-6 hours per week, including practice, viewing video material and reading.


Learning Goals and Objectives


By the end of this course, you will be able to:


  • Describe, demonstrate, and employ the main concepts and tools of the Parenting by Connection approach in your practice with stressed parents and/or children;

  • Assist stressed parents to release stored tension in a therapeutic or educational setting by replicating the Parenting by Connection learning environment model, a well-tested mix of mentoring, information-sharing, Q & A, and confidential listening time that promotes emotional recovery and behavioural change in the parent, leading to an improved parent-child relationship;

  • Understand, explain, and cite the research that underlies the Parenting by Connection connection-focused parenting approach;

  • Navigate and employ the trove of Parenting by Connection resources, many of them free, available to support you in your work with parents;

  • If you wish, continue your relationships with your cohort of smart, caring professionals to strengthen your network

       of support.



Each weekly mentoring class is led by Ann Hefferan and assisted by Belynda Smith


Ann Hefferan – Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor and Trainer, BA

Ann has been bringing the Parenting by Connection approach to parents and professionals since 1992. She has delivered the approach to professionals working in a range of positions – from child carers to psychologists, occupational therapists, family workers and child protection staff. She and her organisation have also worked with childcare centres and their directors to implement the approach across whole centres – from the baby room through to pre-school, running complementary courses for centre parents.


Ann has built a small community of parents who meet regularly and, also, delivers the yearlong Parenting by Connection Instructor Program, which is certified by Hand in Hand Parenting. She runs two Retreats for parents and leaders each year, as well as post-course Mentoring and Master Classes in Parenting by Connection. 


Ann has also worked in the community services sector with adults, youth and families with multiple, intensive needs. 


She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history/political economy from the University of Adelaide.


Belynda Smith – Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor


Belynda has been delivering Hand in Hand Parenting's Parenting by Connection approach to parents through her own business since 2017. As well as teaching classes, she also reaches parents and others through her blog and social media pages.


Belynda has also worked as a Parenting Facilitator with Meerilinga Young Children's Foundation in Perth since 2019, where she facilitates a wide array of one-off Parenting by Connection workshops, the three-week Understanding Tears and Tantrums class and the six-week Starter Class. 


Belynda works with professionals including teachers, child health nurses, mental health practitioners and childcare workers to explore how Parenting by Connection tools can best support the families these professionals serve, and also delivers other programs including Circle of Security. 


Belynda introduced use of the peer support tool, Listening Partnerships, to her organisation during the challenges of COVID-19, with excellent feedback from colleagues. She is also working with local schools to promote connection-based strategies as a school-wide initiative, and delivers workshops to health organisations (including Fremantle Hospital and Fremantle Women's Health Centre), to support the growing awareness of the need for parent support.



Click here please




Professionals Intensive

Distance Program

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