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‘Attachment’ is a theory developed by psychologists to explain how a child interacts with the adults looking after him or her. If a child has a healthy attachment, this means the child can be confident that the adults will respond to the child’s needs, for example if they are hungry, tired or frightened, the adult caregiver will respond to meet their needs or reassure and comfort them.

This gives the child confidence to explore their environment and develop a good sense of self-esteem. This will help the child grow up to be a happy and functioning adult.


VIDEO Judy Furnivall of CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) describes the meaning of ‘attachment’ in this video:


VIDEO Professor Helen Minnis explaining what attachment means:


VIDEO Short video by a foster parent about attachment – 4 mins:


VIDEO Dr.Dan Siegel – video resources on attachment and the brain. Segments are typically 5-7 mins long:


VIDEO Children’s Attachment theory and how to use it – a helpful explanation from Shalamar Children, UK. 19 mins


Articles & Books

Article by Judy Furnivall about attachment-informed practice

How our adult attachment patterns affect our parenting

PDF describing Dr Dan Hughes’ PACE model for parents (Playfulness-Acceptance-Curiosity-Empathy):

‘Attached’, by Dr Amir Levine is about recognising attachment patterns in the context of adult partner relationships



Useful Websites & Organisations

Irish Attachment In Action (IAIA) is an interest and awareness raising group committed to promoting better experiences of attachment in Ireland. It holds public learning events from time to time.