Julia Food - Social Worker and Therapist
Julia trained as a social worker at The University of Bath and qualified in 1987. She spent the next 10 years working in child protection and child care for a local authority where she worked extensively with education, health services and the police, caring for children at risk or in the care of the local authority. She developed considerable expertise in court work, adoption and risk management.
From 1997 to 2018 Julia was employed by a local health authority working within Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) on a part-time basis. There she has become familiar with a very wide range of developmental and psychiatric difficulties and has developed the relevant skills to assess and treat children and young people, working with them and their families or carers to reduce risk, increase understanding and improve functioning.
Systemic thinking and practice is a key component of Julia’s work model and she has a strong commitment to working with all the individuals and agencies involved with a child or young person whilst always keeping the child’s needs at the forefront of any intervention.
Her most recent role within the NHS has been to lead the local service offering emergency risk assessments for children and young people who have attempted suicide or presented at A&E with self-harm.
In 2006 she began to work privately within the field of overseas adoption, assessing individuals and couples seeking to adopt from a wide range of countries including Pakistan, Guatemala, Russia and China. This involves assessing the family, presenting them to the adoption panel for approval and then supporting and monitoring the subsequent placements and preparing reports for the placing country as required.
This necessitates a comprehensive understanding of attachment issues and difficulties which is a particular area of interest and in 2005 Julia completed a 2-year training programme at The Post Adoption Centre, London, qualifying as an attachment therapist. Julia has also completed training around attachment issues from Family Futures. This has led to further work with the local authority supporting children who have been adopted within the Surrey area. This has also involved offering support, training and consultation for the last decade to a local children’s home specialising in caring for and treating children with complex histories and attachment difficulties.
Throughout her professional career, Julia has remained committed to direct work with children and young people, whatever their background, presentation or difficulties, to improve their ability to achieve their potential. She particularly enjoys working with adolescents and has recently completed training at BRIEF (The Centre For Solution Focused Practice) in north London.
Julia is a member of BASW and is registered with the HCPC.