The Secure Base model has been developed through a range of research and practice dissemination projects led by Professor Gillian Schofield and Dr Mary Beek in the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia, UK.
United encourages foster carers and staff members to work in a therapeutic way with children and young people placed in our care. We believe that this is a cornerstone of successful childcare, United use Secure Base Model as one of the therapeutic approaches to enhance children’s lives.
The Secure Base Model provides a framework for therapeutic caregiving which builds resilience and help infants, children and young people move towards greater security.
United has introduced a session on Secure Base Model as part of the preparatory Skills to Foster course as well as post-approval training on the subject for all our foster carers to familiarize them with the five dimensions of caregiving.
This will enable them to incorporate these in their daily practice to help children to move towards greater security. The Secure Base Model gives them a better understanding of the attachment issues enabling them to manage the major emotional or behavioral crisis.
Children needs to experience a secure relationship with their caregivers and when they have not experienced the kind of sensitive parenting that promotes security and resilience, they will find it hard to trust and will struggle with managing their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
It is, therefore, significant for foster carers to be supported and equipped to offer a consistent, reliable base from which children can explore, and also have the capacity to offer a safe haven for reassurance. Thus, a secure base promotes security, confidence, competence and resilience.
How does it work?
The Secure Base model is drawn from attachment theory, and adapted to include an additional element, that of family membership, for children who are separated from their birth families. The model proposes five dimensions of caregiving (Availability, Sensitivity, Acceptance, Co-operation and Family Membership), each of which is associated with a corresponding developmental benefit for the child. The dimensions overlap and combine with each other to create a secure base for the child, as represented below:
How do we use secure base?
United believes in therapeutic thinking with a space for reflection in practice. Therefore, we have incorporated Secure Base Model in all our services.
We have also introduced the use of a Secure Base Model approach in the assessment of prospective foster carers. The model provides a framework for considering the skills and capacities associated with offering care as part of family life in foster care and the final analysis sections of all our assessments of prospective foster carers will include these dimensions.
Do not worry about anything, we believe in organic growth and will support you to know our therapeutic approaches step-by-step. You will be given training and reflective group supervision opportunities within the Secure Base framework.
How do we use secure base?
You can read more about the Secure Base by visiting the University if East Anglia website.