Attachment handbook for foster care and adoption

Written by Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek
Price: £24.95
Publisher: BAAF
Publication date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 903699 96 6
Attachment Handbook for Foster Care and Adoption Front Cover
About the book

Supported by The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Attachment is at the heart of family life and at the heart of foster care and adoption. Attachment theory and research provide a vital developmental framework for making sense of the behaviour and relationship strengths and difficulties that children bring from their complex backgrounds. It also offers a most valuable resource for understanding the kind of caregiving in foster care and adoptive families that can enable children to feel more trusting, confident, competent and secure.

This comprehensive and authoritative book provides an accessible account of attachment concepts. It traces the pathways of secure and insecure patterns from birth to adulthood, exploring the impact of past experiences of abuse, neglect and separation on children’s behaviour in foster and adoptive families. It then explains, from an attachment perspective, the dimensions of parenting that are associated with helping children to feel more secure and to fulfil their potential in the family, with peers, at school and in the community. Finally, it tackles the key role which “keeping attachment in mind” can play in a range of areas of family placement practice, including contact. Vivid case examples are used to make connections with the reality, both the challenges and the rewards, of daily life in foster and adoptive families.

This book will be an indispensable resource for practitioners, foster carers, adoptive parents and all those seeking to ensure that children in need of family care get the very best experience possible and that foster carers and adoptive parents get the support they need and deserve.


'This handbook is exactly that; a book that should be kept to hand by foster carers, adopters and social workers alike. It is accessible both to read from cover to cover, or to dip into as and when issues arise. It is explanatory, supportive and encouraging but, above all, practical.'

Children & Young People Now


From Amazon users

5 out of 5 stars – Jan 2014
Really good insight into attachment, a real eye opener! I would recommend this to anyone going through adoption process or foster care

5 out of 5 stars - Oct 2013
While going through the assessment process to become adoptive parents, my local library found me a copy of the handbook. I have now bought my own copy. Coming from a non-academic but rather a personal direction, I found that the book is broken down into sections that are readable, interesting and give a very practical insight into reactions and behaviours of children that have been through difficult situations. It gives several different reactions the children may have and ways to work through these with the children. I decided to buy a copy for ourselves as we don't yet know who will be joining us. I will hopefully be using it as a tool to guide us a little more smoothly along the way, especially as it splits up the sections to cover different age groups from tiny babies into their teenage years and is easier than other books to dip in and out to find the piece you want and give yourself a reminder.