The Infant CARE-Index (ICI) is the simplest and most versatile of the DMM measures and is a qualitative assessment of risk in relationships. It assesses patterns of interaction of infants and their carers from birth to about fifteen months of age based on a short, videotaped play interaction of 3 minutes. The measure assesses carers on three scales: sensitivity, control and unresponsiveness. There are also four scales for infants: cooperativeness, compulsivity, difficultness, and passivity. These scales tend to be related to the carer’s scales in the order listed.
1. Are highly correlated with the Infant Strange Situation assessment patterns of attachment
2. Differentiate abusing from neglecting, abusing-and-neglecting, marginally maltreating, and adequate dyads
3. Can be used during intervention, and
4. Can be used to assess the effectiveness of intervention.
The information derived from the Infant CARE-Index can be used as quasi-continuous or categorical data by researchers. In addition, the course is suitable for a wide range of professionals working with infants and their carers, including midwives, health visitors, early years workers, psychologists, paediatricians, clinicians, and social workers. Knowledge gained during training can be used to inform ‘live observations’ but such observations cannot be treated as reliable when video is not used. However, specific training of what to look for sharpens both observation and the ability to tell others exactly what the dyad did and why it should be interpreted in a particular manner.
The 9-day course is taught from video in 3 day blocks. Non-verbal behaviour, interpersonal strategies, and developmental processes are emphasised.
Competency to code is assessed by a reliability test after the training. Course participants will be expected to undertake practice coding during the training and in between the taught days. Not completing the practice is likely to seriously impede the level of reliability that can be achieved. The Family Relations Institute issues participants with a reliability certificate stating the percent agreement with the standard. This reliability can be reported. Evidence of reliability should be requested if the participant will code data for others.