Contact the service

Call 01872 246 954 or email the Specialist Parenting Service.

Write to: Specialist Parenting Service, First floor offices, Building A, Green Court, Truro Business Park, Threemilestone, Truro, TR4 9LF.

Key contacts

  • David Pike, Head of Specialist Parenting and Thriving Together (pronoun he/his)
  • Dr Victoria Parnell, Lead Clinical Psychologist of Specialist Parenting (pronoun she/her)

Specialist Parenting Service

We are an early-intervention service consisting of a small team of professionals that support parents of young children (aged 0 to 5) who have a mild to borderline learning disability (for example, an IQ of 55 to 80).

The service offers assessment, teaching and guidance aimed at improving parenting skill. Instruction is adapted to the needs of each individual, and focusses upon imparting skills and knowledge, and fostering effective parent-infant attachment.

We offer the following interventions and support:

  • core parenting programme for expectant parents
  • play based interventions such as Watch-Me-Play
  • video interaction guidance
  • psychoeducation.
  • parenting support using tools adapted from Parent-Assess
  • health coaching

How does service work?

The team work across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and will generally visit clients either at home, or at local authority premises near to their home.

Assistance can be long or short-term depending upon the needs of the family.

We are not a mental health service, and whilst it can assist in dealing with everyday concerns, clients that are experiencing ongoing acute mental health difficulties are more appropriately referred into a service that deals directly with these issues.

The Specialist Parenting Service prioritise pre-birth referrals and most benefit is gained if a parent is referred to the service early in pregnancy.

Referral information

Referrals into the service are generally processed as follows.

  1. Referral is received.
  2. Referral discussed at team meeting (1 to 2 weeks).
  3. Consultation (2 to 4 weeks).
  4. Initial visit and assessment (2 to 4 weeks).
  5. Intervention.

The time between each stage is approximate and based upon caseload.

Referral resources

Download the children’s care management specialist parenting referral form (DOCX, 58 KB). The form needs to be filled out completely. When complete, email the completed form to the Specialist Parenting service team.

Information for professionals

We are a small multi-disciplinary team currently composed of:

  • lead clinical psychologist (clinical lead)
  • assistant psychologist
  • specialist health visitor
  • learning disabilities nurse
  • administration support

Assessment of families includes learning-needs assessment using either:

  • Adaptive Ability Assessment System (third edition)
  • Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (fourth edition)
  • Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (fifth edition)

Assessment of parenting strengths and concerns is undertaken using tools adapted from Parent Assess. The service uses Parent Assess as a tool for exploring parental competence and assisting parents in acquiring new skills, not as a tool for collecting evidence for court proceedings.