Attachment underpins the whole of life. If a child or a young person has an insecure attachment, every aspect of their life will be will affected. The Fostering Network has resources, training, and publications to help foster carers develop a better understanding of how attachment develops, what can cause attachment difficulties and the issues that this can cause in a child’s behaviour and development.

What is attachment?

Attachment is quite simply a bond from someone who needs care to their caregiver. If the person needing care is scared, distressed or in danger, they will look to the caregiver for help.

In babies, attachment occurs regardless of whether or not the caregiver is any good at meeting their needs, so long as they can identify someone to latch on to.

Attachment may occur at any age, but in later years simply putting someone who needs care in the company of someone who wants to be a caregiver does not automatically result in attachment.

How we can help foster carers

Attachment publication

The Fostering Network has produced a publication to help foster carers develop a better understanding of attachment issues. It covers the following areas:
  • who cares about attachment
  • key concepts, phrases, and ideas in attachment theory
  • categorising attachment
  • fostering and attachment
  • what works
  • practical steps.

You can purchase our Attachment publication online (members of The Fostering Network receive a 50 per cent discount).

Storytelling guide

Building Relationships through Storytelling: A Foster Carer’s Guide to Attachment and Stories explores stories and storytelling, and how they are helpful especially to emotional, social and cognitive development. It also outlines attachment theory, explores how storytelling builds attachment and describes a model for thinking about using stories to develop relationships and skills.
You can download the guide for free. You can also download story-making cards to help create stories.

Our helplines

Our member helplines provide confidential, independent and impartial advice for foster carers in the UK.

Our online community

Our members also have exclusive access to our online community where you can log in to share your experience and get advice from other foster carers. The community is a safe and secure area to discuss topics including being a foster carer and looking after a child, as well as advice on finances.