The next IMHAANZ-organised FAN training is in Wellington on 17 + 18 October 2022. CLICK HERE to register your interest for a future training or to make an enquiry. CLICK HERE to view the training flyer.

Erikson Institute Fussy Baby Network’s Linda Gilkerson created the FAN (Facilitating Attuned Interactions) in 2005. It’s a conceptual model and practical tool for building relationships and reflective practice and was initially developed as an approach to work with parents of fussy babies. The FAN is generalizable to the helping relationship in many settings and can be used in supervision. It is now used in programmes/systems in 19 American  States and internationally to promote parent engagement, as well as collaboration between providers and parents. It has been used to train professionals working in home visiting, primary care, early intervention, child welfare, early childhood education, early childhood mental health, youth mentoring and supervision.

The FAN is focused primarily on the parent or supervisee’s immediate concerns, so the process varies and is flexible. The ultimate goal of using the FAN with caregivers is to increase capacity, confidence and strengthen the caregiver-child relationship. In a supervisory relationship the goal is also to increase confidence, competence, and also to build reflective capacity in the supervisee. (Excerpt from Washington Association for Infant Mental Health.)


In 2017 three members of the IMHAANZ Executive Committee – Dr. Denise Guy, Judy Hunter and Dr. Lucie Zwimpfer – became certified FAN Trainers following two years training with and being supervised by FAN founder, Linda Gilkerson. They now offer FAN Training to services and teams in New Zealand and Australia.

L to R: Lucie Zwimpfer, Denise Guy + Judy Hunter

FAN Training is offered to a group of practitioners working in a team/service with infants + young children and their families and whanau across a variety of settings and disciplines – and their clinical supervisor(s).

It is suitable for Well Child/Tamariki Ora providers, NGO’s providing home visiting programmes (such as Family Start), Early Intervention programmes, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services, Early Childhood Education providers and Child Protection practitioners.

FAN Training is different to many other professional development opportunities in two important ways:

1. It’s not available for individuals.

Instead a group or team of practitioners attends the initial 2 day Core Training with a designated supervisor. This can be the clinical supervisor of a team from one service – or a person identified as a supervisor if practitioners are attending from different services. Having a group or team with one supervisor means the second part of training – Reflective Practice – can take place after the initial training.

2. It isn’t a one-off training.

A crucial part of FAN Training is the Reflective Practice period which continues for 5-6 months after Core Training. During this time practitioners use the FAN in their daily working life and spend time reflecting on their use of it with their supervisor once a month. This allows for a deeper integration of the learning from training as well as supported time to embed the FAN more fully into work practice. At the end of the Reflective Practice period a third day of training revisits key concepts of the FAN and addresses any outstanding issues or concerns.

The following infographic outlines the process of how FAN Training works:

Organisations in New Zealand Aotearoa that have received FAN Training include Naku Enei Tamariki Inc, Ohomairangi Trust, Plunket, Starship NICU, West Coast Family Start, a Southern Lakes consortium, Ministry of Education (Early Intervention Team), the Stepping Stones Trust and a Nelson/Malbourough DHB consortium.

Training can take place at your place of work – or teams/services can attend one of the trainings organised by IMHAANZ. Please get in touch for further details, including costs.


“What I value most from using the FAN is the reminder of self-regulation and the focus on truly being ‘present’ with the client. I think everyone can benefit from learning and using the FAN and those who have good relational skills will hone particular aspects of their skillset – guided by the knowledge of the different wedges in the FAN.  Where it is more difficult to build rapport and engagement, the FAN can turn practice around.”  -Anne Marie Morris, Clinical Leader, PLUNKETLINE

“My coaching/supervising style has changed. I stop, take a step back, listen and ask questions. I don’t lead. I stay in feelings more. I let them understand they can do it; they come up with solutions.” – Alison Paea, Practice Leader, Pacific Section, Family Start Contract Pakehaand Pacific, NAKU ENEI TAMARIKI HOME VISITING SERVICE

 “The content of FAN training is very relevant to my practice and I can clearly see how effective it is in my professional and personal life. When I compare interactions that have gone well (or not so well) it is usually evident that I have used components of the FAN model of practice. I love how there is a component to this model that supports the wellbeing of practitioners, which is so important in our field of work.”  – Georgina Leatitagaloa, Early Intervention Teacher, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION 

CLICK HERE to view a brief summary of the FAN from The Erikson Institute

CLICK HERE for an infographic outlining how FAN Training works

CLICK HERE to view research carried out on ‘Enhancing the Capacity of Home Visitors with a Reflective Practice Approach’

CLICK HERE to view a ZERO TO THREE 2016 article on ‘Strengthening Reflective Capacity in Skilled Home Visitors’

CLICK HERE to view a ZERO TO THREE 2016 article on ‘Using the FAN Approach to Deepen Trauma-Informed Care for Infants, Toddlers, and Families’

CLICK HERE to view the IMHAANZ FAN Training Team’s 2020 webinar on MSR for COVID-19.

If you would like to find out more about FAN Training for your team or organisation, please email us at – or fill in the contact form below.