The Reflective Fostering Programme-Adapting a group parenting programme for online delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom

Sheila Redfern (Lead Author), Benita Pursch, Thando Katangwe-Chigamba, Rumour Sopp, Karen Irvine, Eva A. Sprecher, Theresa Schwaiger, Nick Midgley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions, service providers faced significant challenges in delivering programmes to support their vulnerable service users. Foster carers-an already often isolated group of caregivers - were offered an adapted remote-delivery model of the Reflective Fostering Programme (Redfern et al., Adopt. Foster., 42, 2018, 234) from March 2020.

Method: This paper outlines the adaptation process of the original programme to online-remote delivery and describes the feedback from participants in the programme.

Results: The adaptation of the Reflective Fostering programme to online, remote delivery had both strengths and weaknesses - including wider access to foster carers who might struggle to attend in person and challenge a to maintaining a Mentalizing space online and ensuring confidentiality within a therapeutic space. The programme was overwhelmingly well received by foster carers in this format.

Conclusions: There are opportunities and challenges in the delivery of online therapeutic services, particularly those with a group format. This paper contributes initial reflections to what we hope will be a rapidly developing literature on best practice of supporting group services in an online format.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy
Early online date20 Sep 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sep 2023


  • adverse childhood experiences
  • group psychotherapy
  • mentalization
  • parenting
  • qualitative research

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