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Children's Attachment

Attachment in Children and Young People Who Are Adopted from Care, in Care or at High Risk of Going into Care

NICE Guideline, No. 26



This guideline has been developed to advise on attachment difficulties in children and young people who are adopted from care, in care or at high risk of going into care. Children’s attachment and its impact, particularly where children are looked after or for whom being adopted from care is the long-term plan for them, is poorly understood among a range of professionals. The purpose of this guideline is to help professionals ensure that children presenting with characteristics that suggest difficulties with attachment are diagnosed accurately and that their needs are addressed quickly. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, care leavers who have had attachment difficulties, carers and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to clinicians and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for children with attachment difficulties while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for children with attachment difficulties and their carers.

Although the evidence base is rapidly expanding, there are a number of major gaps. The guideline makes a number of research recommendations specifically to address gaps in the evidence base. In the meantime, it is hoped that the guideline will assist clinicians, and children with attachment difficulties and their carers, by identifying the merits of particular treatment approaches where the evidence from research and clinical experience exists.


Funding: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Disclaimer: Healthcare professionals are expected to take NICE clinical guidelines fully into account when exercising their clinical judgement. However, the guidance does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of each patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their guardian or carer.

Copyright © 2015 The British Psychological Society & The Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Bookshelf ID: NBK338143PMID: 26741018


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