Angela Evans

Training overview & content

Attachment Training for Foster Carers and Professionals



Attachment researchers have shown over many years that most children who have suffered severe abuse or neglect display a disorganised pattern of attachment. (Carlson et al, 1989). 

This pattern presents with the most challenging behaviours, and requires insight, understanding and an effective repertoire of responses on the part of those responsible for the care of these children.

This training will:

  • give foster carers, social workers and other professionals who work with fostered children an up-to-date understanding of their behaviours and their inner worlds
  • enable them to help children with backgrounds of abuse and neglect


One day

Training Overview

9.00 – 9.30 Tea and coffee. Registration

9.30 – 9.45 Introduction

9.45 – 11.00 Presentation on Attachment

  • Participants will understand how Attachment Theory has developed, covering its early history and its development up to the present day, including more recent refinements of the theory
  • They will learn the differences between the common attachment styles, focusing on the insecure organised category (anxious/ambivalent and avoidant attachment style), and the insecure disorganised category (traumatised attachment style)
  • Participants will begin to recognise the mismatch between the outer behaviour and the inner ‘hidden needs’ of children with an attachment disorder.  They will develop strategies that match the adult intervention with the child’s attachment style

11.00 – 11.30 Tea and coffee

11.30 – 1.00 Understanding cycles of need

  • Working in pairs or groups participants will trace why and how the experience of caregiving that children receive changes their behaviour. They will learn how to interpret behaviour to find the child’s ‘hidden need’

1.00 – 2.00 Lunch

2.00 – 3.00 Experiencing the inner world of an abused and neglected child

  • When caring for or working with fostered children who have abusive or neglectful backgrounds, carers and workers can find it hard to maintain empathy; they can become overwhelmed by negative projections and messages from the very children for whom they are caring
  • In this session participants will develop their ability to ‘put themselves in the shoes’ of fostered children with abusive or neglectful backgrounds, using film, case studies and experiential exercises

3.00 – 3.20 Tea and coffee

3.20 – 4.45 How to begin to repair

  • In pairs or groups participants will practise appropriate games and activities to promote cycles of interaction. Through role play they will focus on acknowledging need before solving problems
  • It is a natural human reaction to search for immediate solutions, but  many fostered children lack the experience of being heard and it is important that their internal world views are made conscious, even if they are hard to bear

4.45 – 5.00 Conclusion and closing comments