At a recent Development Day, the Swiis Permanence fostering team spent some time looking at how the ‘Secure Base Model’ (Scofield and Meek 2005) could help in assessing permanent carers who have the qualities required to care for complex and challenging children. This model identifies 5 caregiving dimensions to assess and links each to the benefit for the child:

Caregiving dimension Developmental benefit
AvailabilityHelping the child to trust
SensitivityHelping the child to manage feelings and behaviour
AcceptanceBuilding the child’s self esteem
Co-operationHelping the child to feel effective – and be co-operative
Family membershipHelping the child to belong

Providing a secure base for a child in foster care is also key to ensuring that foster carers provide safe care. It increases the likelihood that they will:

  • Learn that they are important and worth keeping safe.
  • Talk about (or show) their foster carers their fears, risks and what they are thinking.
  • Grow in confidence and learn strategies for dealing with people who might harm them.
  • Be able to ask for help.
  • Over time, become capable of making their own decisions.

The team found this to be a very useful model which will be incorporated into assessing and supporting carers.

If this has inspired you to foster, please get in contact with us by sending us an enquiry, or by phoning us on 0333 240 9049.