Our approach

Our work at CDN is built on a set of principles that are guided by research and theory. We apply these principles in different ways to each stage, or step, along the journey of understanding and caring for your child.

This page outlines these stages, principles, and what we aim to achieve with each.

Stage 1. Turning your concerns into questions and answers

Guiding principle How we know if we have been successful
 We listen to your child

Your child’s point of view is actively sought (to the extent this is possible), heard and incorporated into the process from the very outset.

 We listen to parents You feel that your concerns were sought, listened to, understood and responded to both respectfully and appropriately.
We turn these concerns into questions that can be answered.

The questions we ask will help you understand your concerns, for example:

  • How significant is this problem?
  • Why is this happening?
  • What is the future likely to hold?
  • How much of this can be changed?
We work with you, and other professionals if necessary, to find answers and explain these answers to you.

You understand what is going on with your child.

This may not be complete or certain, but enough to begin the discussion about what to do.

Stage 2. Making a plan

Guiding principle How we know if we have been successful
The plans addresses what is most important at the moment.

You know what you are working on, what you need to do, and what you are trying to achieve.

These plans reflect what is most important to you.

The plans are accountable. You know what you are working towards achieving, when and how you will evaluate success.
The plan considers the full picture and all options for helping your child.

There are many parts to helping children. These include:

  • Making life easier, reasonable, sustainable and generally fair through adjusted expectations and support from those who deal with your child.
  • What can be done to build your child’s abilities
  • What can be done to help your child understand, accept and feel proud of themselves
  • Finding balance (fun, rest and work)
  • Taking care of the people who take care of your child, particularly yourselves.
The plan looks into the future.

Even though the future is a way off, you are already talking about it.

You have a sense of what is most important to guide you over time (for example your child’s happiness and confidence).

You know what you can do now to build a solid foundation towards this future.

The longer term future is always in mind. In addition to planning the next stage, you are considering the long term future, whether you are on track, and what else can be done now to build towards this.

Stage 3. Getting the team together

Guiding principle How we know if we have been successful
All the key people in your child’s life, where possible, are considered in the plan.

You talk about who needs to understand your child and be involved.

You have a strategy for sharing information with them, and inviting them to be part of the team.

We communicate with all these people in mind.

We talk to you about who is involved, and who needs to know what.

We emphasise the importance of getting both parents, where appropriate, onto ‘the same page’.

The letters and reports we provide are able to be used to explain what is going on, and what needs to be done, to a wide range of people.

Where necessary, we may communicate directly (e.g. with phone calls or case conferences at schools).

Each person understands your child, and their unique role in your child’s care

Different people understand their possible contribution. For example:

  • Grandparents are a place of safety and happiness
  • Teachers are about fairness (of expections) and protection (from fear and shame)
  • Professionals contribute information about what is going on, and what can be done.
There is a strategy for regular ongoing communication within the team.

With the team of people involved in your child’s care, you have a system of regular communication that

  • keeps them involved
  • encourages them to contribute their own ideas
  • keeps them up to date
  • regularly reviews progress, and
  • looks into the future.

Stage 4. Getting started, and keeping going

Guiding principle How we know if we have been successful
From the start, the plan is practical.

You know what to do from the very outset, and feel able to do it.

You take the first steps.

The ‘what if’ situations are identified. You know what to do if things go wrong, or develop differently from what is expected.
There are clearly defined processes of review and evaluation.

You know when to review, and what to review.

Review is more than considering current problems.

As well as talking about the important current issues, you have regular opportunity to:

  • reflect and learn from the past, then
  • look into the future to plan for the next stage of the journey
The longer term future is always in mind. In addition to planning the next stage, you are considering the long term future, whether you are on track, and what else can be done now to build towards this.

The CDN: Our role in your journey

Our guiding principles for how the CDN, as a network of professionals and support staff, undertakes its work.

Guiding principle How we know if we have been successful
We support and guide you.

You feel supported as you learn new skills, build confidence, and when you make mistakes.

You understand clearly, and our work reflects your situation:

  • what is important to you
  • what is reasonable (time / money) in your circumstances
We communicate effectively

We communicate in conversation, and in writing, using language that is easy to understand.

Our written communication, such as letters and reports, are completed and sent in a timely manner.

We collaborate

When more than one professional at CDN is involved, the reasons for referral are clearly identified.

We do not unnecessarily replicate what is already known. You do not have to repeat yourself.

We talk to each other at CDN, and work together effectively.

Our administration and processes support the work that we do.

You feel listened to and respected.

Our processes and communication are clear and appropriate.

Your privacy is valued and managed with discretion.

Our facility supports our work The physical space (waiting, reception and consulting areas) is welcoming for your child and yourself.