The ATTACH team

Information about what services are provided by the team

Who is in the ATTACH Team?

We are a multi-disciplinary therapeutic team (Clinical Psychologists, Senior Practitioners in Social Work, and an Educational Psychologist) working with adoptive, special guardianship and foster care families in Oxfordshire.

Our work uses attachment theory to understand the needs of children who have been neglected or abused and who no longer live with their birth parents.

How do I make a referral to the ATTACH Team?

Referrals can be made to us by your social worker through our shared computer system. Adoptive parents and Special Guardians can refer themselves to us using the referral form (docx format, 91Kb). We do not accept referrals directly from schools.

How do you decide what is right for my child and me?

Before we meet with you we send you some questionnaires to complete to help us begin to understand your difficulties. When we first meet with you for an assessment this will take about an hour and a half. We will talk to you about the difficulties you are experiencing, the nature of the attachment relationship between you and your child, the family history of both you and your child and what you would like to change.

To understand further your child’s view of themselves and their world we might meet with your child, either to talk with them or to use a play-based assessment.

We may talk in more detail about your early life experiences using questionnaires and structured interviews.

Once we have met with you and developed a joint understanding of the difficulties your family is experiencing we will discuss what we assess is the best way for us to work with you.

Why do you need to see me as well as my child?

We are often asked “Why don’t you just work with my child?” There are situations where we may work with children and young people individually. In our team we think about your child’s difficulties both developing in the context of their early relationships and now continuing within their current relationships. We believe you need to work within key relationships to bring about the change you desire, helping your child build safe and trusting attachments which can nurture all aspects of their functioning. Working within relationships helps a child build security whilst simultaneously processing past trauma.

Which other services do you work with?

We work with the Children We Care For and leaving care social work teams, and the Phoenix Team. We also work closely with CAMHS, the Permanence Support Team, schools, the Virtual School, the SEN Team and the Educational Psychology Service. We may also liaise with other professionals involved, such as Occupational Therapists or Speech and Language Therapists.

Can we see multiple services at the same time?

Families working with us may also be open to CAMHS, the Permanence Support Team, Educational Psychology or integrated services such as Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and the Communication and Interaction Team. It is helpful for us to know who else you are working with. It is usually not helpful for your child to be engaging in psychological therapy with different professionals at the same time and we would discuss with you and other professionals how we can fit into the support you are receiving.

Who do you talk to and where does my information go?

We are part of Oxfordshire Social Services and store information and documents on our shared secure computer system.  We do not share information with outside agencies without your permission, unless we are concerned about your safety or someone else’s safety.

How long will we have to wait to be seen?

Our waiting time for appointments is usually around three months from the referral being accepted. Referrals are discussed weekly so we can decide quickly if we are the right service for you and your child.

How long do you work with people?

The length of time varies from person to person depending on the agreed goals and type of work.  Work may vary in length from a single consultation to a series of therapeutic sessions over several months.  Some parents and carers attend our group programmes, which vary from 6 to 14 sessions.

Do you work with schools?

If your child is experiencing difficulties in education as well as at home we can provide advice and consultation to schools as part of our work with you and your family. Our educational psychologist may also become involved, working closely with the clinician working with you and your child as well as with the school. We do not accept referrals when the concerns are only related to school: in that situation the school should contact their educational psychologist.

Therapeutic interventions

Services for professionals

Education and schools