Residential and Community Parenting Assessments

Carefully selected, Azalea House is based in a quiet location in Bedford close to local amenities and services. The well equipped home is a four-bed provision that offers CCTV throughout and 24-hour waking onsite support and guidance for parents in need of support by fully qualified and experienced support staff.


Furnished to an extremely high standard Azalea House provides a holistic and nurturing supportive environment.


The staff team in Azalea house are all Qualified and experienced in the relevant area to be able to provide consistent and exceptional support during difficult times. The staffing team are also PAMS qualified and the home is managed by Social Workers. 


The parent’s will be included in group activities in the local community and the home. The activities on offer will include cultural calendars, baby yoga and swimming classes. This is to promote positive parenting, social networks and prevent isolation, reducing vulnerability.

The parents at Azalea House will be able to attend in house workshops and one to one key-work sessions on the signs and definitions domestic violence and appropriate, healthy relationships. This work will include how to recognise and prevent emotionally controlling relationships as well as the physical abuse as this area is a growing concern.


Athena will monitor, observe and assess the parents and their care that they give to their child/children and interaction between parents where required. Athena are then able to provide regular detailed, factual and professional assessments and reports that will be made available to placing authority, social workers, Courts and other significant professionals.


Athena have an independent living and age appropriate parenting programme programme that they use as a tool if necessary with the parents that will equip them with the basic life skills they will need to live completely, independently and successfully and to build their skills and knowledge around positive parenting.

The independent programmes are completed during one to one key-work sessions with staff. Some of the living skills topics that the parents will focus on include:​

Domestic Violence and Sexual Exploitation work completed
Detailed reports
Athena Independent Programme


Applying for housing

Basic DIY

Running a home

Health & Safety in the home


Shopping Effectively

Personal Hygiene




Athena are able to support parents in accessing ongoing therapy whilst they are at the unit to aid them in any traumas and negative childhood experiences they may have had.

As a qualified integrative Psychotherapist, Lois work’s using different approaches, combining elements of Person-Centred Therapy; which focuses on an individual’s self worth and values, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); which focuses on thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and actions, teaching clients how each one can have an effect on the other. CBT is useful for dealing with a number of issues, including depression, anxiety and phobias, Transactional Analysis; which focuses on the theory that we each have three ego states: Parent, adult and child. By recognising ego-states, TA attempts to identify how we communicate, and how this can be changed. And Psychodynamic Therapy; which focuses on difficulties arising from early childhood that remain unresolved.

In a safe environment Lois would look at early childhood and help people to safely express feelings and thoughts that have not been released before, which have resulted in dysfunctional behavioural patterns and relationships.

Some people find it helps to see things visually, therefore Lois may also work creatively to aid the process if that is something that the client feels comfortable with.

Lois has a lot of experience and she has worked for the mental health charity MIND, working with adults seeking help with various issues. Over the years she has also gained extensive experience working with young people between the ages of 11 and 18. This experience has been gained through working with young people in schools, Connexions, a Pupil Referral Unit and within her private practice. Lois has also worked with young people in care and/or under social services.

As well as her private practice Lois also has contracts with a secondary school in Luton, social services and Athena Housing and Support.

Lois is a registered member of the BACP and can be found on the BACP Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists. Lois abides by the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy and hold an enhanced DBS (CRB) certificate.

Lois has extensive qualifications including:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Working with Children and Families

  • Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling CPCAB

  • Certificate in Couples Counselling

  • BACP Certificate of Proficiency, Accredited Voluntary Register

  • Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling CPCAB


Lois has attended many workshops including:

  • Certificate Course - Mindfulness for Wellbeing

  • Mindfulness and the Art of Managing Anger

  • Working with Aspergers

  • Bereavement (CRUSE)

  • Certificate in Child Protection

  • Aspects of Bereavement (CRUSE)

  • Integrative Sand play Studies (AIST)

  • Working with Clay

  • Working with Dreams

  • Working with Childhood Abuse, Complex Trauma and Dissociation

  • Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Athena will support to expand the parents knowledge and skills of caring for their child/children whilst they are placed at the centre. This will be around all subjects relating to positive parenting, attachments, behaviour management and taking care of them self.

As well as this they may meet other parents experiencing the same anxieties and possible challenges they may face, this will help prevent them from feeling isolated and socially excluded. The parents will receive a personal development plan.

The could include:

  • Antenatal development and birth

  • Responsibilities of caring for a young baby

  • Healthy living

  • Self esteem, positive wellbeing

  • Applying for work and training

  • Seeking appropriate childcare

  • Child development 


 Athena Parenting Support
Athena Ongoing Supportive Therapy