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What makes us outstanding?

At Family Futures, we pride ourselves on offering an outstanding service for adoptive parents, foster carers, special guardians and professionals working with children.

From an assessment and treatment service for children who have experienced trauma, to an adoption recruitment service placing children with complex needs, to an education and development programme for parents and professionals – we’re innovative, creative and experts in our field.

But don’t just take our word for it. The proof is in the research, awards, numbers, and innovative and creative projects.

Published research

Family Futures’ research published in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

We were thrilled that our new research on the positive findings of a multidisciplinary therapy programme was published in print by Sage in the October special edition on adoption in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. To be published by the journal, the research went through a rigorous peer review process.

Improvements in behaviour regulation, emotional difficulties, and parent and child relationships, are some of the key outcomes of an integrated, multidisciplinary therapy programme, as highlighted by our published research.

Success in numbers

Placed six children with high complex needs in 2016

Despite the number of children available for adoption being at a low, there are still many young people out there with severe complex needs who are in deserving need of a new family. With the right support, no child is hard to place. We placed six children with high complex needs during 2016, including five who were school age and four who had health conditions.

Trained 950 professionals and parents, from over 35 local authorities, in 2016

Almost 1,000 professionals and parents and carers have come through our doors in 2016 to take part in our education and development programme. These include courses on life story work, therapeutic work for social workers, placing siblings, Theraplay, the Great Behaviour Breakdown, sensory integration and supporting children in the classroom.

Parents and carers are equipped with the knowledge to support their children, helping to prevent placements from breaking down. Professionals then have the expertise and learning to support these families.

Supporting 24 adopted children with the Education, Health and Care Plan process, in 2016

A successful application for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) can make a real difference to an adopted child and their family, enabling them to receive additional support at school. EHCPs identify educational, health and social needs, and outline the additional support needed to meet those needs.

Innovative and creative thinking

Dr Dan Hughes and Dr Jon Bailey spoke at the 2016 Family Future conference

Clinical psychologists Dr Dan Hughes and Dr Jon Bailey drew in the crowds at last year’s annual conference in October, where they spoke about their new book The Neurobiology of Attachment Focused Therapy. We captured the conference on Storify.

Resourcing Adopted People in Adolescence project

Our Resourcing Adopted People in Adolescence project, funded by a Children in Need grant, is going from strength-to-strength, with eight young people, aged 14-18, growing in confidence. The project has been cited in a best practice guide for group work with adopted children and young people, published by CoramBAAF.

A centre for Theraplay training

We are a UK centre for Theraplay training, with a qualified Theraplay trainer at Family Futures. We run both Theraplay level 1 and group training and level 2, featuring  practical work drawing on case studies and videos.

A tier 3 service

Because of our specialist multidisciplinary team we are the equivalent of an NHS tier 3 CAMHS service.

Our awards

Family Futures was the first adoption agency to be awarded the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes (C4EO) award in February 2012. C4EO is a government sponsored agency set up to identify innovative and excellent practice, and to disseminate those models to other agencies working with children and young people.

In November 2016, Ofsted awarded Family Futures outstanding for a second time in a row. Ofsted’s recognition demonstrates that the agency is supporting children and young people to make significantly better progress and achieve more than was expected in all areas of their lives.


Family Futures Commendations

Here are some things that others have to say about us:


Daniel A. Hughes, Ph.D
“Since 2001 I have been closely associated with Family Futures. I would like to say how much I value and enjoy my relationships with this excellent assembly of qualified professionals. I have gotten to know their exceptional clinicians as both a consultant on individual cases as well as a trainer in the model of treatment that I teach. I am continuously impressed at the ability of Family Futures to be truly integrative in providing the most appropriate services to the families who come to them for assistance. Family Futures both remains aware of the most current thinking and treatment for trauma and attachment difficulties and also insures that their clinicians have the necessary training to provide optimal service. I am also amazed at the scope of services provided—thorough, comprehensive assessments, integrative treatments for the whole family (both as individuals and as a unit), parent mentoring, advocacy, and providing resources such as books, videotapes, and contact information for related services. They also provide trainings for professionals and adoptive parents on a regular basis. Hundreds of therapists and social workers from throughout the UK have received training in my model of treatment for adoptive families because Family Futures is so committed to bringing specialised interventions to as many communities as is possible.

In short, 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.”

Phyllis Booth, Clinical Director Emerita, The Theraplay Institute
“I am writing as a stakeholder to share my views on the quality of the services that Family
Futures provides to families with adopted children. I have been aware of the work done at this agency since 2002 when I first came to London to provide training to their staff and to outside participants in the Theraplay treatment approach to helping families form better attachment relationships. Over the years I have gained a great respect for the quality of their services, as well as for the comprehensiveness of their approach. They provide much needed support, information, and therapeutic guidance to families who are struggling.

I have been impressed with the extent to which Family Futures has included professionals with a wide range of skills and knowledge. They have successfully incorporated into their work innovative best practice in a variety of disciplines which can be helpful to children and parents as they attempt to form strong and loving relationships.

As part of their mission to support good practice in the field of adoption and adoption support, Family Futures provides an excellent venue for training people from the wider community in disciplines and therapeutic approaches that can be helpful to families. This program is run in a very efficient manner. As a visiting trainer I have felt very well supported. It is always a pleasure to be welcomed at Family Futures. I am sure that families feel the same caring, supportive atmosphere and benefit greatly from it.”

Jonathan Pearce, Former Director, Adoption UK
“The Family Futures Adoption and Attachment Course has proved a real benefit for Adoption UK and its adoptive parents. Most importantly, the parents who have participated have studied and learned about attachment theory and its practical implications for their relationships with, and parenting of, the traumatised children they have adopted from the local authority care system. However, the course has impacted far wider than that within and outside Adoption UK. The parents who have participated, many of whom have been Adoption UK adoptive parent support group coordinators, trainers or employed staff have been able to disseminate their learning to many parents within the wider community that is the organisation’s peer support network. Adoption UK and its parents and children owe an immense debt of gratitude to the experience, knowledge and wisdom of Family Futures and its staff. As ever, we are delighted to be associated with the organisation’s work.”


“I am ever thankful for all the help we receive from Jay, yourself and Family Futures in enabling G and us to lead happy and healthy lives”.

“I cannot thank you enough for helping our precious daughter”

‘It is something we will never forget and will always be grateful for… it was priceless… we had hands underneath us holding us.”
L Family


“The training and support that Family Futures offered for our staff and the pupil was invaluable. The hugely positive outcome for the student it was targeting was considered ‘outstanding’ by many professionals with prior involvement in the case.
Assistant Head, Wokingham

“The result of suggested strategies has been that our daughter now feels that there are one or who adults in school who she can trust. Their understanding of her emotional state and the sensitive handling of her learning means she can turn to them when things get tough emotionally or socially. She has been made, over time, some progress academically, through expectations being low and praise being high. This I am convinced could not have happened without Marion Allen’s intervention”

“The training was very helpful in preparation for having the child in my class. It provided guidance and ideas for ways in which I could support her (and her sibling whom I also teach) in the most effective and appropriate way. It also gave me an insight into the ways in which the early years are so important in a child’s development and how difficulties at this time can have a wide ranging impact later on”

Education and Professional Development Services

“Very well presented and informative – great to take part in the tasks. The venue very welcoming, food lovely! Pack, very informative.”

“Excellent. Incredibly thought provoking and relevant. Mind boggling!”

“Interesting, stimulating and inspiring. I thought it was fantastic and so relevant to what I do. Excellent information pack- I will use this in all my contact and court work.”

“Brilliant- scary though to feel we do it all wrong!! But this will change! Thank you for inspiring me. Excellent references and articles”

“This course was fantastic, I feel motivated to implement all areas spoken about and feel like further reading this, and underpinning my practice with the core values of family futures. Info pack excellent.”

“Invaluable course content- a great introduction to developmental trauma and the link to attachment theory. Good venue, good food, great info pack- thank you.”

“Content – excellent. Really appreciate the hand book. Venue – Excellent, pleasure to use the facilities. Food – great, a treat! Pack – fab.”

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