Fiona is co-director of Families Feeling Safe, Protective Behaviours Services (formerly Action for Children) and is co-author of ‘Families Feeling Safe’ an evidence based Protective Behaviours programme for mums, dads, and carers. Fiona has also been a registered social worker since 1995 and a Protective Behaviours trainer since 2000. She has a background working in family support with children, their parents and carers both individually and in groups using Protective Behaviours since 1998.
‘My journey with Protective Behaviours began in 1995 while working for Action for Children in a Family Support Service. The support was offered both individually and in groups with children and their parents with a range of needs and experiences including a history of domestic abuse, low self-esteem, isolation, high levels of stress, some poor experiences of parenting, post natal depression and child protection issues. In 1998 I received a referral for individual support for a vulnerable young girl. The resources and approaches to respond to her needs seemed limited and this led to me doing some research into what else was available. It was then I came across the Protective Behaviours Process, a very practical, empowering approach to helping people feel safe and I went to Milton Keynes to attend the training led by Di Margetts. Protective Behaviours offered just the tools I needed to support this young girl and also work with her parents. I found these same ideas and strategies invaluable for myself, with colleagues, my family and everyday life. The effectiveness of the Protective Behaviours Process with this family and with new found inspiration and passion to develop this work, I set up training courses for professionals and went on to become a PBUK endorsed trainer in 2000. I began running Protective Behaviours groups with parents through Action for Children, and independently, in schools, children’s centres and in local community settings working in partnership with professionals in those settings who had been trained in Protective Behaviours.
With successful funding bids over several years, I managed a Protective Behaviours project for Action for Children which has enabled the process to be delivered in schools, children’s centres and train many professionals working in a range of services with children, young people, parents and carers. I began working collaboratively with Dave Austin to develop and publish the Families Feeling Safe programme for mums dads and carers and in 2014 set up our social enterprise to continue and develop the Families Feeling Safe Protective Behaviours Service.’