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Fostered and adopted children can present major challenges resulting from unresolved attachment issues and early traumatic experiences. In this much-needed book, the contributors provide a variety of complementary perspectives on the needs of these children and their families, focusing on ways of integrating attachment theory and developmental psychology into effective practice. Examining multiple aspects of work with children who are unable to live with their birth families, the book includes contributions on the assessment, preparation and support needs of children and families, attachment and the neurobiological effects of trauma, effective management of contact with birth families and developmental challenges in school settings. The use of creative arts therapies, alongside developmental reparenting strategies as part of a long-term attachment therapy 'package', are explored in some detail. A fictionalised family, used as a working example throughout Part 2, brings practical interventions to life: illustrating the Family Futures' inclusive approach, where adoptive and foster parents become pivotal members of the therapeutic team. In addition, contributions from real-life user families illustrate some of the challenges they face and demonstrate how the developmental attachment-based approach has worked for them. Bringing together a rich and invative selection of ideas for adoption and fostering practice across the disciplines, this book will be a valuable resource for all involved in supporting substitute families.
Caroline Archer is a parent mentor, consultant and trainer in adoption support, a member of the Family Futures team and an adoptive parent. She has published two popular adoption-related books, First Steps in Parenting the Child who Hurts and Next Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts with Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Alan Burnell is an adopted person and a social worker with many years experience in working with families. For some years he was Director of the Post Adoption Centre in London, before moving on to co-found Family Futures with Jay Vaughan and Christine Gordon. Family Futures Consortium provides services for parents and professionals working with adopted and fostered children, including training and consultation for statutory and voluntary agencies nationwide. In their therapeutic work with families, they have evolved a unique intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to supporting children with attachment and trauma-related difficulties.