• Penny Coombes : Family Consultant Parenting after Parting Practitioner

Penny Coombes
Family Consultant
Parenting after Parting Practitioner

12 December 2014

Penny Coombes Family Consultant Parenting after Parting Practitioner

Penny is Practice director at IRIS Brighton which offers a range of family services.

Penny is a parenting specialist, trained in several parenting skills programmes and models, including as a ‘Parent/Child Game’ coach, in Parent/Child Interaction therapy and as a ‘Triple P’ levels 4 and 5 Practitioner (the most complex/risky situations). Penny has also supervised Webster/Stratton parenting groups and delivered parenting training to a variety of other professionals.

Penny’s background is as a qualified Social Worker and she has worked as a Team Manager in family centres and family support services (the pre-runners to Sure Start centres) and as a local authority Manager of  a Specialist  Family assessment Centre ( which undertook risk and parenting assessments as well as  a range of interventions) and in kinship and adoption services. Penny has for many years acted as an Expert witness to the family courts in both private and public law, offering Independent Social Work assessments. She has over thirty-five years’ experience working with individuals and families including offering 1:1 sessions, family work, group work, family network meetings, work with parents (including teenage parents), working with separated or separating parents and direct work with children and young people.  Penny has a particular interest in promoting resilience and looking at solution focused goals for the people with whom she works.

Penny is a Family Consultant.  Through Sussex Family Solutions she offers ‘parenting after parting’ work with separated or separating parents.  This is tailor-made to consider the specific issues of the situation but typically focuses on aspects such as how and when to tell your children you are splitting up, how to help children and parents manage feelings and issues that arise from contact and co-parenting arrangements, and how to cope with issues such as a new partner, new baby, a move away or stepfamilies with other children etc.

Penny also offers direct ‘contact’ work and can undertake contact assessments when required. Penny can also do short-term ‘wishes and feelings’ work with children and is trained in ‘story stem’ assessments, a model developed at the Anna Freud centre to address the need for a non-intrusive way of allowing children to communicate their understanding of the world around them and their expectations from adults and siblings. This gives an indication of their attachment needs and internal working model.

Penny is delighted to be part of Sussex Family Solutions and strongly believes that this exciting multi-disciplinary and innovative approach to working with families offers a holistic and powerful blend of support and advice that will really assist them through a difficult time in their lives.

Penny Coombes

Iris Brighton


Tel: 01273 315430