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Adoption UK comments on NICE consultation on children’s attachment

Published: 14.07.15

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is responsible for providing guidance on a range of health and social care issues and interventions and was commissioned by the previous Government to produce guidance on attachment for children in care/on the edge of care/adopted or, in other post-care permanent settings e.g. Special Guardianship.
Adoption UK comments on NICE consultation on children’s attachment

The proposals were released as a draft for consultation and, after seeking members' views, Adoption UK has contributed to this process as many children who are adopted from care have experienced significant early trauma/loss, often in relation to parental neglect/abuse and will have attachment difficulties. In preparation for publishing the guidance the panel undertook a thorough analysis of research evidence in order to recommend the most appropriate clinical models to use to undertake assessments and interventions on attachment difficulties.

Our conclusion is that the panel have taken a somewhat narrow 'medical model' definition of attachment difficulties, seeing it as a mental health disorder rather than linked to impaired brain development due to the impact of abuse/trauma. It may be helpful for a few but not necessarily the majority of adopted children who struggle daily with, for example, routines, regulation and sensory issues. We remain confident that these issues can successfully be addressed and supported through adoptive parents' consistent use of therapeutic parenting techniques which if more widely known about and understood could also be applied in a classroom setting.

We would like to extend our grateful thanks to those members who submitted their responses, as these comments informed our response to NICE.

Read a copy of our submission to the consultation here.