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What makes us outstanding?

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.

Ofsted Outstanding and C4EO Centre of Excellence

In August 2018, Ofsted awarded Family Futures ‘Outstanding’ for the third time in a row. Ofsted recognised that:

“The agency is a nationally recognised centre of excellence for therapeutic adoption and adoption support services which address the damage caused by early developmental trauma. The agency has developed its own highly effective therapeutic model over many years, which has been externally evaluated.”

“Children and their families receive holistic care of exceptional quality, which results in excellent experiences, outcomes and progress.”

Read the 2018 Ofsted report here

Read Family Futures’ comments on the 2018 Ofsted report here


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.

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

Family Futures’ published research

Our latest research, published in the Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, November 2019, provides supporting evidence that a therapeutic intervention which is neuro-developmental and holistic in approach improved outcomes for children who had experienced developmental trauma and who had later been placed for adoption. To be published by the journal, the research went through a rigorous peer review process.

Our 2016 research on the positive findings of a multidisciplinary therapy programme was published in print by Sage in the October 2016 special edition on adoption in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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

We had 58 families in the NPP treatment programme in 2017/18

Our therapy programme, Neuro-Physiological Psychotherapy (NPP) is systemic and covers individual work with children and therapeutic parent support, incorporating: sensory integration, Theraplay and DDP with parents and children; life story work and facilitated contact; ongoing network support and management; school liaison and individual learning programmes.

We trained 305 professionals, parents and carers in 2017/2018

Our training programme, based on our research and clinical practice, disseminates best practice to professionals, parents, foster carers and special guardians across the UK. All our trainers have specialist knowledge, expertise and experience of child development. Our professional development and parent education programme 2017/18 includes courses on life story work, sensory integration, placing siblings, Theraplay, DDP, the Great Behaviour Breakdown, supporting children in the classroom and the impact of trauma on attachment and development.

Parents and carers are equipped with the knowledge and understanding needed to support their children, helping to prevent placements from breaking down. Professionals gain the expertise and practical tools to support these families.

Innovative and creative thinking

2018 Family Futures conference

To celebrate our 20th year we are holding a conference that looks at both the work of one of our guiding lights, Colwyn Trevarthen, and at our latest research on the Neuro-Physiological Psychotherapy treatment programme we have developed. The research explores the outcomes for children who received treatment vs. those who were assessed but for whom there was no funding for treatment. Our research evidences the positive outcomes for children of the NPP treatment model and, along with our training programme and conference, provides evidence that Family Futures is at the forefront of disseminating good practice and innovation in the field of adoption and fostering.

Young People’s Forum

Our Young People’s Forum helps young adoptees express their thoughts and share their experiences. We are keen to continue this work into the future as the young people taking part have enjoyed and benefited so much from it, although funding from the BBC Children in Need Fund has now ended.

A centre for Theraplay® and DDP 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. We introduced Dan Hughes’ Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) training to the UK and run DDP courses as part of our training programme for professionals.

A tier 3 service

Our specialist multidisciplinary team provides the equivalent of an NHS tier 3 CAMHS service.

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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