Dr Wendy Kelly


New Zealand

Foster Care | Attachment | Trauma


Dr Wendy Kelly is Clinical Practice Advisor at the Victoria University Clinical Psychology program. Her newly published Understanding Children in Foster Care and PhD onLooking after children in care: What psychological factors affect the foster parent-child relationship?, highlighted the causes and consequences of psychological and attachment difficulties for children in care and the theoretical basis of the of RLF.  She also runs a private practice and provides supervision and consultation services for professionals working in the area of child maltreatment and trauma.  She has worked in the child protection and mental health fields for over 25 years, including five years as a clinical psychologist in Child, Youth and Family’s specialist services.  Wendy has previously delivered the seminars ‘Becoming Attached’ and ‘Attachment and Emotional Communication’ with Compass and has developed this new workshop to reflect the huge amount of new knowledge and research that has occurred recently in this important area of practice. Wendy’s engaging and interactive presentation style combined with her extensive and contemporary knowledge of this topic mean that this workshop is a must for all professionals who work with out-of-home young people and carers.



Out of Home Care

This workshop introduces the Relational Learning Framework (RLF), a case conceptualisation tool which helps out-of-home care practitioners, mental health professionals  and foster carers to examine what foster children have learned in their early life about relationships, particularly through abuse and neglect. Grounded in attachment theory and drawing on cognitive theory this workshop helps practitioners to understand and respond to the challenging behaviour presented by these children and remove barriers to an empathic response. You will explore and practice how Relational Learning Framework can be used to understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s attachment style and their view of relationships.  The framework provides crucial clues about how the child’s past adverse experiences may have changed their view of themselves and other people.  This knowledge makes sense of complex information and helps us understand what children need from current relationships, which can then become the basis of a treatment plan to help the child recover. 

These topics can be delivered as a keynote or workshop, and can be tailored to your audience.

Book Wendy for your event!


Organisation (optional)

Email address

Phone number (optional)



"Very informative. Great collaborative approach. RLF tool will be very helpful for my team"

Team Leader, Foster Support Team

"Brilliant seminar. I have gained so much information that I'm definitely going to use back at my placement"

Care Facilitator

"Rarely do presenters use such up to date research. Absolutely loved the training - applicable framework and practice"


"Wonderful seminar. Informative and practical"

Guidance Officer, Primary School