Training Standards Criteria

Member organisations can grandparent practitioners who meet the skills level training standards of the education section of EIATSCYP.

Ethics and Anti Oppressive Practice:

The education section of EIATSCYP understands that the creative adjustment of some children and young people makes access to mainstream education difficult.  However, we respect the child/young person’s right to be educated and to be supported to reach their educational potential.  We acknowledge that the child/young person’s behaviour may be challenging for the educational context but place the onus on the learning establishment to seek ways to provide access to a broad and balanced education.  In addition, we want to seek ways in which diversity and difference amongst children and young people can honoured and respected and support contexts where this may be culturally challenging.

The education section encourages adults within educational settings to explore the co-creation of relationships and to invest in ways of setting clear attainable boundaries that are in keeping with the social, emotional and behavioural well-being of the learner, with particular attention to the inevitable power imbalance between adult and child/young person. 

Skills level training in the education section requires that training encourages participants to develop their reflective and reflexive capacity through engagement in the experiential elements of training. 

Trainers are required to model an I-Thou attitude towards trainees so this approach can be internalised and drawn upon in the educational context.  For this to happen, frequency and duration of training needs careful consideration. 

Practitioners using therapeutic skills in the context of their work need to have awareness of their own support needs both internally and from the environment.

The Education section of EIATSCYP require member organisations to have training programmes that:

1.1 Enable school workers or adults in similar organisational settings to work at a level appropriate to learning and developmental needs of the child/young person. 

1.2 Expect school workers to consider the child/young person’s life context when planning and implementing intervention using therapeutic skills. 

1.3 Promote and contribute towards interdisciplinary work with children/young people including dialogue with colleagues and care-givers.

Entry requirements to skills level training programmes:

2.1 There are no academic requirements to study skills level training.  However, participants need to be available to participate in the experiential component of the training and be able to hold a warm, competent and open relationship with children/young people. Participants also need to be able to complete the assignments associated with skills level training.

2.2 Participants are required to have access to a suitable environment, such as a school, family support, youth services, in order to complete the practical components of training.   

2.3 Participants require a valid enhanced DBS check or equivalent.        

2.4 It is advisable, but not essential, that the organisation to which the participant belongs recognises the nature of the training in Therapeutic Skills and makes provision for skill development and implementation within the organisation.     

2.7 If training is provided in-house, the organisation takes responsibility for the suitability of the participants.

2.8 Training organisations are required to up-date their curriculum in line with research and national agendas for the emotional well-being of children/young people.


Skills level training has central to its premise that:

  • The therapeutic relationship provides the child/young person with an attachment figure within the organisation.
  • Where it more appropriate, the skill level worker can support and strengthen the child/young person’s attachment to another member of staff.
  • The child/young person’s creative adjustment is recognised and honoured as being useful in another context, even if the child/young person is challenging to the organisation.
  • Every child/young person has a right to an education compatible with his or her development, ability and learning needs.  The child/young person has the right to support to overcome emotional barriers to learning attuned to their developmental stage and need.
  • Participants are challenged to increase their understanding of how enduring or specific life events impact the emotional, social and behavioural well-being, and potentially the education, of the child/young person.
  • Participants are supported to become a voice for change within their organisation.
  • Children/young people need to be considered within a multi-disciplinary context, where parents and care-givers are included in the dialogue.
  • Children/young people need safe spaces to feel their feelings, an adult who will understand their perspective and believe in and support change, an adult who will sensitively advocate/mediate on behalf of the child/young person. 

For the award of certification level training candidates must complete a minimum of 50 hours face-to-face training to include:

  • The importance of an attachment figure who can provide a safe haven and secure base within the organisation.
  • Creative adjustment as being the best a child/young person can do in the context within which they find themselves.
  • Creative adjustment is seen as a means of managing in an environment which a child/young person cannot control and does not support their needs.
  • The value of the therapeutic relationship to provide containment and opportunity for change.
  • The capacity to understand and respond to range of feelings such as anger, anxiety, shame, excitement, jealousy, loss.
  • An understanding of the role of shame in the learning environment.
  • Development of a range of creative skills to facilitate awareness, understanding of process, opportunity for change and growth.
  • Development of relational listening skills appropriate to their role.
  • Development of the capacity to be a voice for change which supports the emotional well-being of children/young people within the organisational context.
  • Awareness of regular support to process the impact of their work with children/young people.
  • Establishment of self-care needs


Assessment of skill level training is as follows:

  • Evidence of the participant’s capacity to reflect on personal growth and change during training. 
  • Evidence to develop, implement and evaluate an organisational based project, which demonstrates skills into practice.


The certificate in therapeutic skills is awarded to candidates who successfully complete an EIATSCYP education section accredited programme.