Promoting attachment and resilience cover

Promoting attachment and resilience


All children need to feel secure in their relationships with the adults who look after them. Where children have not experienced the kind of sensitive parenting that promotes security and resilience, they will find it difficult to trust and will struggle with managing their feelings and behaviour.

This practical guide is designed to support foster carers and adopters in offering the best possible sensitive care for troubled children who have often experienced trauma and loss. The Secure Base model is a model of caregiving in fostering and adoption that is based on theories of attachment and resilience while also drawing on child placement research. Providing a secure base is at the heart of successful family relationships. It provides a valuable framework and strength-based approach for making sense of fostered and adopted children’s needs and behaviours and sets out the dimensions of caregiving that can support children to thrive and to fulfil their potential.

Listen to our latest author interview

Ellen Broomé welcomed Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek to talk about the new edition of their bestselling publications, The Secure Base Model and Promoting Attachment and Resilience.

Who is this book for?

Foster carers and adopters who want to help the children they care for become more secure, confident and competent by developing their knowledge of the Secure Base model.

What you will find in this book

This book addresses a range of key questions, including:

  • what strategies can be used to provide sensitive caregiving that develops secure close relationships?
  • how can children be helped to recover from earlier harmful experiences and feel competent to face future challenges successfully and fulfil their ambitions and potential?
  • what can help children develop resilience, self-esteem and the capacity to reflect on their feelings?

The guide is accompanied by online video clips that explain the five dimensions of the Secure Base model in practice through the voices and experiences of adopters, foster carers and young people.

Read the contents page and introduction


Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek developed the Secure Base model.

Gillian Schofield is Emeritus Professor of Child and Family Social Work and former Head of the School of Social Work at the University of East Anglia (UEA). An experienced social worker and academic, she has a special interest in attachment theory, child development and child placement, especially long-term foster care. She has taught, researched and published widely in this field.

Dr Mary Beek is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Social Work at UEA. She has had a long and varied career in fostering and adoption practice and also in related research and publication.

Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek worked together from 1997–2020 on a series of research and practice development projects at the Centre for Research on Children and Families at UEA. A key focus for their work has been the development and dissemination of the Secure Base model of therapeutic caregiving.

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