Thinking about Fostering? 0800 5 677 677

Secure Base

Therapeutic caregiving which Builds resilience and helps infants, children and young people move towards greater security

The Secure Base Model (Schofield & Beek) provides a positive framework for therapeutic caregiving which builds resilience and helps infants, children and young people move towards greater security.  The model was recommended as a basis for training foster carers in the Government White Paper, Care Matters (2007).  It has also been incorporated by the Fostering Network into their Skills to Foster™ preparation programme.

Although specifically tailored to fostering, we use this model across all of our services.  A ‘secure base’ is at the heart of any successful caregiving environment - whether within the birth family, in foster care, residential care, adoption or education.

Therapeutic agents of change

The Secure Base Model focuses on the interactions between caregivers and children on a day-to-day, minute-by-minute basis in their everyday settings, promoting caregivers as the ‘therapeutic agents of change’.  


This relationship offers children a reliable base from which to explore and a safe haven for reassurance during hard times. The premise of the model is to develop healthy, attuned, sensitive caregiving relationships that promote and develop security, confidence and resilience.

The Secure Base Model

The Secure Base Model is underpinned by child development and attachment theory, and adapted to include an additional element of family membership for children who are separated from their families. The model proposes five dimensions of caregiving, each of which is associated with a corresponding developmental benefit. The dimensions overlap and combine with each other to create a secure base for the child, as represented above.

Watch the video to hear from Professor Gillian Schofield who developed The Secure Base Model.