Parents doing group work

Improving practitioner effectiveness

HENRY provides evidence-based training courses for practitioners who work with parents of young children or who work in early years settings. Our training equips practitioners to provide more effective support for families – to help them to develop a healthier lifestyle for the long term.

Helping families to develop healthier lifestyle habits depends to a great extent on the knowledge and skills of the practitioner. Research shows that providing information alone (which is often the ‘output’ required of practitioners) is unlikely to lead to lifestyle change (the desired commissioner ‘outcome’).

Effective support for behaviour change is an essential ingredient to help families adopt a healthier lifestyle. Research consistently shows that practitioners often lack the skills, knowledge and confidence to raise sensitive issues of lifestyle and weight, as well as to support the behaviour change process.

The lasting change achieved when practitioners adopt the HENRY approach in their professional practice is achieved by working in partnership with families – developing relationships based on trust and respect and doing things with families rather than to them.

HENRY training helps practitioners support families because it:

  • Integrates evidence-based models to develop motivation and support behaviour change

  • Highlights strengths and promotes self-efficacy

  • Focuses on solutions

Independent longitudinal evaluation has demonstrated:

  • Increased practitioner confidence to tackle complex and sensitive lifestyle issues following HENRY training

  • Health Visitors, early years workers, and other practitioners continue to use the knowledge and skills gained many years after they complete HENRY training

  • Tangible impact of HENRY training on family outcomes

  • Practitioners make sustained positive lifestyle changes in their personal lives, which enhances their credibility with parents

  • Positive changes to policy and practice in early years settings – including age-appropriate portion sizes, healthy snacks and strengthened team working

The proven effectiveness of HENRY training for practitioners in supporting genuine, long term lifestyle change ensures it provides real value for money for commissioners. More than 12,000 health visitors and early years workers have joined a HENRY training course. Commissioners and practitioners alike attest to its transformational impact on professional practice.

Our training courses are suitable for all early years practitioners – health visiting staff, midwives, children’s centre staff, nursery staff, child-minders and more.

HENRY-trained practitioners help parents to provide a healthy start in life for their babies and young children. Read testimonials from practitioners and parent stories. If you would be interested in commissioning HENRY training, or in booking individual places on a central HENRY training course, please contact our national office on 01865 302973, or email - or click here for more information.

All our training is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

I went on a HENRY training course and learned that I needed to do less talking and more listening

Children's centre outreach worker

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For more information, click here or contact:
01865 302973 |

practitioners doing group work
Practitioner testimonials

Health and early years practitioners discuss the impact of HENRY training on their work