Watch Me Play is a intervention for caregivers with babies or young children with the aim to enhance the caregiver – child relationship. The intervention has been developed by Dr Jenifer Wakelyn at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and is based upon evidenced research and previous, successful studies.
Initially WMP was developed to support babies / young children in care but has also been found to be helpful in post LAC children (adoption and Special Guardianship).
The approach promotes child led play with the care giver giving individual attention, talking and commenting about their play, but not directing.
Key features of the intervention:
A selection / variety of age appropriate toys is provided
A quiet Environment
Adults undivided attention for a short period of time (10-15 minutes)
To take place at regular times over the course of a week over several weeks
The caregiver’s role is to observe the child’s play and reflects on what it feels like to be with the child, thus bringing the adult and child together (attuned). The adult begins to recognise the cues and communication given by the child and starts to understand how to support the child best.
Moving Forward in Norfolk.
The WMP intervention supports the Play and Discover bags that are already in place for our young children in care in Norfolk. The intention is that it will build and enhance the good practice being developed and will support positive relationships with foster carers. Four foster families have been identified to participate in this pilot study. The Watch Me Play materials will be shared with foster carers and they will engage with intervention and the feedback and results will be collated in several months time.
Other potential advantages to Watch Me Play:
It could offer a relatively easily implemented intervention to those families who may be struggling following the adoption process
Low level intervention which provides a pathway towards other specialised interventions and therapeutic approaches
Potential training opportunities for early years practitioners.
Provides opportunities for working in a multi-disciplinary way
For further information, please visit, https://tavistockandportman.nhs.uk/research-and-innovation/our-research/research-projects/watch-me-play-feasibility-study/