Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Kate's spotlight on childhood adversity

The Duchess of Cambridge started 2017 seeing how play can make a big difference to lives
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

As one of her charities began a new initiative to throw a spotlight on childhood adversity, the Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to lend her support.  Kate was at the Anna Freud Centre's Early Years Parenting Unit for her first official engagement of the year and she started as she means to go on, focusing on mental health issues.

The Duchess of Cambridge's 2017 debut took on a difficult issue. The Early Years Parenting Unit was set up in 2011 to support parents with personality disorders whose children under the age of five are at risk of being taken into care. Kate heard about the work going on there from those who run it and some of the people using it.

She got some first hand experience of how the unit helps parents and children strengthen the bonds between them when she joined a theraplay session which promotes attachment between mums, dads and their children. 

The work at the Early Years Unit is complex, aiming to help parents with their issues as well as addressing their children's early development needs. Overall, the unit tries to make parents more responsive to their children's emotional needs so that families can stay together.

The Duchess of Cambridge is patron of the Anna Freud Centre. This visit was part of her ongoing campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues and to promote the importance of early intervention to help people of all ages lead fulfilling, safe and happy lives. We can expect to hear a lot more about Kate's work in this area in 2017 - the duchess debut for this year is a taste of things to come.

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