top of page


Fostering Security


Children in care can present with complex behavioural and mental health problems, often related to their experiences of trauma, abuse, loss, neglect and multiple placements.  Caregivers of children in care report high parenting stress, a lack of acknowledgement of their burden of care, poor involvement in decision-making, poor information sharing, and unmet needs for support and training on managing children’s behavioural and mental health difficulties.   Caregivers also find it difficult to develop a healthy attachment to a child who is detached, distrustful, or controlling.  


The Fostering Security training programme arose from a recognition that caregiver training and support needed to be an essential component of mental health interventions for children in care.  It was also recognised that general parenting training programmes sometimes do not meet the specific needs of caregivers with children who have complex attachment and trauma-related problems.


The Fostering Security programme draws on attachment theory, theories of trauma, child development theories, social learning theory, theories of change, and attribution theory.


The Fostering Security training programme won the inaugural Werry Workforce Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Innovative Workforce and Service Achievement Awards in the category of Service Innovation in September 2010.  The programme was also a runner up in the 2011 HB Health Awards in the category Excellence in Innovation


Fostering Security
The Three Modules


Psycho-educational Module

Caregiver Self-Care & Self-reflection Module

Behaviour Management and Skills Training Module



Werry Centre Award 2010 - from left: Lisa Harrington, Fostering Security Facilitator & Practice Leader, OT Hastings; Benita Stiles-Smith, Clinical Co-ordinator, CAFS; Bernice Gabriel, Fostering Security Developer \ Facilitator & Senior Psychologist, CAFS; Vince Rasell, Clinical Nurse Manager, CAFS; Dr. Jonathon Coleman, Associate Minister for Health; and Emeritus Professor John Werry

bottom of page