Children’s wellbeing: setting the foundations in the early years

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The link between positive early-life experiences and adult mental and physical health and wellbeing is increasingly gaining recognition in scientific communities around the world. Evidence suggests that adverse life experiences and trauma in early years can have lasting and profound effects, changing forever the brain’s architecture and resulting in ill-health and problems that will follow the individual in to their adult life. Embedding this reality in the health and care system could help prevent problems by intervening early to maximise positive impact and support families and carers to mitigate the negative effects of hard experiences. 

Join us for this event on 17 June to explore with us how health care providers are embedding the evidence for early years interventions in various services around England. Integrating services for children to promote population health needs to become a vital part of looking after the family unit and during this event we will hear from experts sharing practical examples and their unique insight  of working at the front line while making informed decisions based on recent scientific developments. 

Join us to:

  • explore the reasons why the future of health lies with understanding an individual’s early-years experiences
  • learn more about how to support families and young children who face a challenging beginning in life and prevent the worst health effects of adverse social and economic realities
  • find out about practical examples of the programmes across England
  • update your knowledge of the sector with the latest findings from policy and science leaders 
  • hear the latest evidence for applying brain science to policy interventions from the work and programmes of the Palix Foundation in Alberta, Canada, and across the world.

See the full programme >

Sponsorship and exhibition

Engage with leaders and decision-makers from across the health and care sector by sponsoring or exhibiting at this event. To find out more, please email Chloe Smithers or call her on 0207 307 2482 to discuss the opportunities available.




Speakers include:


Professor Russell Viner

President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Richard Owen

Head of Quality Strategy and Children and Young People Transformation Programme, NHS England and NHS Improvement


Alison Morton

Director of Policy and Quality, Institute for Health Visiting


Dr Jasmine Chingono

Academic Foundation Year 2 Doctor, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust


Peter Watt

Managing Director, Family Support


Sally Hogg

Head of Policy and Campaigning, Parent-Infant Foundation


Dr Camilla Rosan

Head of Early Years Programme, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families


Maria Bavetta

Champion Network Manager, Maternal Mental Health Alliance



Registration opens, exhibition and networking


Opening plenary: Supporting health from the start of every life

9.30amWelcome and introduction

Jonathon Holmes, Policy Adviser, The King’s Fund

9.35amInnovating for the future of children’s wellbeing in the United Kingdom

Professor Russell Viner, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health


9.55amIntegrating services to improve health and wellbeing

Richard Owen, Head of Quality Strategy and Children and Young People Transformation Programme, NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Hear about the future of integrating children’s services under the NHS long-term plan priorities.
  • Understand how to maximise engagement at every level of service delivery.

10.15amIt takes a country to raise a child: a vision for health visiting within a whole-system approach

Alison Morton, Director of Policy and Quality, Institute for Health Visiting
  • Understand why an integrated whole-system approach to prevention and early intervention matters.
  • Learn about the evidence around the importance of health visiting in the United Kingdom.


Masterclass A: Understanding brain development and its implications across the lifespan

11.20amWelcome and introduction

Jo Maybin, Policy Fellow, The King’s Fund

11.25amLifelong health depends on more than just our genes: how the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative is raising awareness in Canada and across the world

Dr Nicole Sherren, Scientific Director and Senior Programme Officer, The Palix Foundation
  • Learn about the scientific evidence around how early-life experiences have profound, lasting effects on brain architecture and affect an individual’s life trajectory.
  • Understand how childhood adversity undermines this process and can lead to poor learning, social and health outcomes. 
  • Using real-world examples, learn how professionals in Alberta have used this knowledge to change policy and improve service delivery across health and education sector.

The Palix Foundation, through its Alberta Family Wellness Initiative, funds and initiates a variety of activities and programmes to drive evidence-based change across multiple sectors and bridge the gap between what we know from the science of early brain development and what we do in policy and practice. 


Masterclass B: Connecting care for children

1.20pmWelcome and introduction

Shilpa Ross, Researcher, The King’s Fund

1.25pmConnecting care for children: lessons from an integrated paediatric care model

  • Hear how paediatricians at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are addressing the disproportionately high rates of paediatric A&E attendance in north-west London.
  • Understand how to transfer specialist knowledge from the hospital back to the community by introducing practice champions, open access hotlines and other practical ways of making the expertise of paediatricians more widely available. 
  • Hear detailed learning from a practical integrated care model that brings together local GPs, commissioning leads and social care partners.

Dr Jasmine Chingono, Academic Foundation Year 2 Doctor, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust 
Dr Arpana Soni, Paediatric Fellow, Connecting Care for Children 
Toby Hyde, Deputy Director of Transformation, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust 
Dr Niam McLaughlin, Millbank Medical Centre, NHS


Masterclass C: Supporting the family unit locally

2.40pmWelcome and introduction

Ben Collins, Policy Projects Director, The King’s Fund

2.45pmFamily Support in Hammersmith and Fulham: integrating brain science into early-years local support

  • In this masterclass you will learn about how Family Support, a local authority trading company, delivers early-years support to residents. 
  • Hear about integrating trauma-informed approaches into service delivery and how to help prevent adverse impact on physical and emotional health in adulthood.
  • Learn about methodology and tools to influence GP practices and how to develop a common language around early-years brain science among local stakeholders. 

Peter Watt, Managing Director, Family Support 
Eleanor Lincoln-Antoniou, Locality Manager and Early Years Lead, Family Support
Dr Jayna Kumpavat, GP
Dr Radegun Norbury, GP


Closing plenary: The evidence for focusing on early years

3.40pmWelcome and introduction

David Buck, Senior Policy Fellow, Health Inequalities, The King’s Fund

3.45pmDon’t forget the mental health of babies: what works to support the parent-child relationship in the early years?

Dr Camilla Rosan, Head of Early Years Programme, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
  • Hear the evidence of what interventions work to support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children in the early years
  • Learn about the Anna Freud Centre early years model of implementing an evidence-based integrated infant mental health pathway for universal to targeted to specialist settings. 

4.00pmThe importance of the first 1001 days of life: a unique opportunity for lifelong health from the Parent-Infant Foundation

Sally Hogg, Head of Policy and Campaigning, Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Hear why all babies need a stable start in life and how to promote health through a sensitive, nurturing relationship.
  • Benefit from the toolkit and practical resources the Foundation has developed by supporting 29 specialised parent-infant relationship teams across the United Kingdom.

4.20pmHow mothers see the world: perinatal mental health

Maria Bavetta, Champion Network Manager, Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • Hear about the importance and use of language during the perinatal period – how to reduce possible guilt and help mothers open up. 
  • Understand how to equip mothers with the knowledge that their mind can change as well as their body during pregnancy and postnatal. 
  • Learn about sensitive and sensible framing when discussing ‘how to get it right’ for infants and children without the mother feeling additional parental  pressure.