BABCP | British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies > Therapists > Working with Children

Working with Children 

There are no specific legal requirements for a practitioner to work with children.  However we strongly recommend the following.

Appropriate CBT Training

You should have completed a CYP (Children and Young People) CBT training course - some of these can be found within our list of Accredited courses.

Alternatively, you should have completed general CBT training to at least post-graduate diploma level plus additional training to acquire the following -

  • Knowledge of child development in order to be able to deliver a developmentally appropriate CBT intervention
  • Skills to deliver CBT that is appropriately adapted for co-morbid neurodevelopment disorders (ADHD, ASD and/or Tourette’s) 
  • Ability to use CBT within a systemic context (to include family, school, and wider network )
  • Understanding of the influence of attachment theory, and ability to deliver CBT within this context
  • Sound awareness of the legal frameworks that govern working with under 18 year olds, which includes Safeguarding and Mental Health risk

Accessing Additional Training

We cannot recommend any individual courses or resources to find this training so it will be down to you to look into suitable local or online options. Here are a few signposts to organisations which may offer suitable training, CPD and further advice -

  • CAFSIG  - BABCP Children and Families Special Interest Group puts on regular CPD events 
  • - a source of online resources about child and adolescent development and mental health
  • -The Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health holds a variety of resources and events 
  • - provides online resources for young people and parents/carers on mental health problems in young people
  • - The Anna Freud Centre runs some relevant CBT courses 
  • Many local authorities run level 3 safeguarding courses 

Other Recommendations

  • Ensure that you are working ethically in accordance with BABCP Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.  This will include only taking on clients that you feel you have the skills to work with. 
  • Find a supervisor with plenty of experience of working with children
  • If you are working privately, check whether your insurers need to know that you are working with children
  • Maintain your knowledge through CPD related to working with young people

Accreditors and Auditors will expect evidence of any of these recommendations to ensure that you are complying with the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics. 

Good Practice Guide

For more information about working with children and young people, we have produced a Good Practice Guide which you can download.

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