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Family Futures 2018 Conference – book your place at the early bird rate!

Assessing and Treating Developmentally Traumatised Children

We are now taking bookings for our 2018 Conference: ‘Assessing and Treating Developmentally Traumatised Children’ to be held on 19 October at The Crystal, London. The conference is aimed at social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, teachers and anyone involved in helping children who are looked after or adopted. Come and hear about our new, independently reviewed research on our Neuro-Physiological Psychotherapy treatment programme and the outcomes for children who have/have not received treatment. We are delighted to have as our keynote speaker Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, one of our guiding lights. You can see the conference agenda, find out more or book your place here

Big Adoption Day, 21 March 2018

Are you ready to start your adoption journey? 


Watch real life stories about adopting a child with Family Futures here. Our next Information Evening for anyone thinking about adoption will be on Wednesday 18th April at Family Futures, London. Come along and find out how we can support you or find out more here.


ACEs study assesses which specific adverse childhood experiences are most related to poor outcomes

Adverse Childhood Experiences – new research published in Children and Youth Services Review, January 2018

A study, Examining exposure to adverse childhood experiences and later outcomes of poor physical and mental health among South Carolina adults, has found that the most frequently reported ACE category among respondents reporting poor health was household dysfunction with emotional and physical abuse.

“The odds of reporting poor health increased as the combination of categories of abuse increased, with respondents who had all three categories of abuse much more likely to report poor health. Similarly, the most frequently reported ACE category with respondents reporting frequent mental distress was household dysfunction with emotional and physical abuse and among all categories of ACEs and combinations of categories of ACEs, the respondents reporting all three categories of ACEs had the highest odds of frequent mental distress.

The presence of sexual abuse in childhood increased the odds of reporting poor health and mental distress, supporting the idea that some ACEs may have stronger associations to long term health outcomes than others.”

Alan Burnell, Registered Manager at Family Futures commented on the findings of this new study: “These ACE results are clearly predicated on individuals who have had no help for the abuse and neglect they suffered in infancy. Surely this is one of the strongest indicators yet as to why children in the care system or who are adopted need guaranteed therapeutic help in order to prevent poor outcomes. Without this help we are not just failing them now, we are failing them in the future.”

Information Evenings for prospective adopters

Are you considering adoption?


Our next Information Evening will be at 7pm on 18 April at Family Futures, Islington, London. Come along and hear more about the adoption process, how we can support you with our unique multidisciplinary team, and have the opportunity to ask us questions.

Please email to let us know if you are coming to our Information Evening.

“Totally unlike any training content of any course I’ve done”

Don’t miss our courses for parents coming up soon

“ Gives a new perspective and understanding of some behaviours. Easy to see how I could make some simple changes.”


Parenting with Theraplay, Somatic Experience and DDP principles of PACE, 11 April 2018

The Great Behaviour Breakdown Bryan Post’s follow-up to Beyond Consequences13, 14 & 27 June 2018

Helping Fostered Children Transition to a New Family19 to 20 June 2018

Making Sense of My Child – A day on Sensory Integration10 July 2018

Adult Attachment Style – How your own upbringing will influence your parenting style11 July 2018

Relationships and Networks6 September 2018

The Impact of Trauma in Infancy on Attachment and Development9 & 10 October 2018

Parent education programmes can be funded by the Adoption Support Fund. You need to make an application through your local authority adoption support service for this funding.

To book a place on one of these courses, visit our Parent Education courses at Family Futures page.

If you have a query, please contact Angela on 020 7354 4161 or email us.



Information Evening for prospective adopters, 10 January

Are you thinking about adopting a child this year?

“Family Futures work with you to make the adoption work.”

We’re holding an Information Evening for anyone considering adoption on Wednesday 21 February, 7 till 8pm at Family Futures, London, N1 2PL.

You can hear more about what happens during the adoption process and have the opportunity to ask us questions. Please send us an email to let us know you are coming.

You can also read more information for prospective adopters here.

Considering adoption?

LGBT & want to know more about adoption?

Please email for further information. Our next information evening for prospective adopters will be Wednesday 18 March 2018, 7pm at Family Futures, Islington.

Self Care Week 2017

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” Mahatma Gandhi

During Self Care Week why not try a brain boosting challenge or check out other resources and information available on the Self Care Forum website.

Alan Burnell, Registered Manager, comments on the conviction of Matthew Scully-Hicks for the murder of his 18-month old adopted daughter, Elsie

A more robust multidisciplinary form of psychological profiling is needed for prospective adopters with more post placement support  

It is more than tragic that a child should die when she had been removed to a ‘safe’ place. Normally adoptive parents are a very safe place to be for a young child. As an adoption community we need to look at two aspects of this case in particular: the assessment process and the post placement support to parents.

It is often assumed that infant placements are straightforward and that a traditional adoption assessment is adequate for approving prospective adoptive parents. In our experience however, all adoption placements come with challenges and complexities. As a consequence, we have at Family Futures developed a more robust multidisciplinary form of psychological profiling of prospective parents, and a more intensive parent education and post placement support service.

Sadly research shows that if things are going to go wrong, they often go wrong right from the start. We hope that whatever enquiry takes place into this tragic death, it will come up with some helpful and positive suggestions about how these issues of assessment and post placement support can be improved.

New research finds that for permanence in adoption “the level, accessibility and quality of the therapeutic and professional resources available” is key

Adopting children with high therapeutic needs: staying committed over the long haul

New research by Kate Bardsley published in ‘Adoption & Fostering 2017, Vol. 41(2)’ looks at the factors affecting adoptive parents’ commitment to children with significant behaviour and emotional needs. The study focuses on adopters of children pre-identified as having high therapeutic needs and looks specifically at the factors that affect adopters’ ongoing commitment.

“Contrary to initial hypotheses, levels of adopter commitment did not correlate with the severity of need or challenging behaviours in their adopted children per se.

Instead, it was found to be associated with their feelings of ‘hope’ about the future, feelings that were closely linked to the level, accessibility and quality of the therapeutic and professional resources available.”

The key to permanence is hope. The key to hope is guaranteed therapeutic support for adopted children throughout childhood.

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