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20 years of helping families heal

Alan Burnell, Registered Manager until 2019 and co-founder of Family Futures, shares his reflections on how the work of Family Futures has developed over the past 20 years. 

Read Alan’s blog    Our service was conceived from anger and despair with the intention of providing hope and change.

What others have said about Family Futures:


“4 years ago an incredible little girl joined our family. Her journey has been a long one; her history one of trauma and dreadful neglect, but her future is bright due to the help of Family Futures.”

“At the times that we are at Family Futures, it often feels like we are a perfect family. The nature of our children’s trauma means there are no quick fixes but when things are difficult (which they often still are, out of the blue), I try to channel my inner Jay or Kathy and all our behaviours invariably improve.”

Training attendees

“Extremely inspiring. I really cannot wait to start the preparation and use the resources and strategies of the course to start Life Story work.”

Excellent resources [on Siblings] for the wider professional community – a leader in changing culture!

Dr Daniel Hughes, founder of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP):

“Family Futures has always been a remarkable organisation to provide a wide range of specialised services for adoptive families and professionals throughout the UK. What is even more remarkable is that they keep getting better at what they do so well.”

All of us at Family Futures would like to thank the parents and children who have trusted us enough to come here and who have taught us more about the experience of adoption than any book in any library.

We would also like to thank the staff who have worked here over the years, who have engaged in what at times is emotionally challenging and demanding therapeutic work, and we thank the following who have guided our thinking along with other neuroscientists and creative art therapists: Dan Hughes (DDP), Phyllis Booth (Theraplay®), Jean Ayres (Sensory Integration), Peter Levine and Bruce Perry.

Family Futures 2018 Conference – Assessing and Treating Developmentally Traumatised Children

To celebrate our 20th anniversary we held a conference for professionals and parents/carers involved in helping children who are looked after or adopted. The day was a combination of presentations and workshops to give participants an understanding of the latest research evidence for a multidisciplinary, neurosequential approach to the treatment of Developmental and Complex Trauma. A comparison of outcomes for children who received Family Futures’ Neuro-Physiological Psychotherapy treatment vs those who did not, was presented at the conference. We were delighted to have Professor Colwyn Trevarthen as keynote speaker. Find out more about the conference and presentations here or you can read Alan’s conference blog.

What is Neuro-Physiological Psychotherapy (NPP) and how does it help children who have suffered Developmental Trauma?

Helping families heal – real life story: Ryan, Brooke and their adoptive parents 

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