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The Secure Base Model

Promoting security and resilience

The Secure Base model is at the heart of what we do. 

This model, devised by Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek from the University of East Anglia (UEA), is drawn from attachment theory, and has been 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, 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:

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The Secure Base model provides a positive framework for therapeutic caregiving which helps children/ young people to move towards greater security, build trust, manage feelings, build self-esteem, feel effective, and help them to belong.

It focuses on the interactions that occur between caregivers and children/ young people on a day-to-day basis in the home environment, but it also considers how these relationships can enable the child/ young person to develop the competence and skills necessary to navigate the outside world, in their peer groups and in the wider community.

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

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