Achievement Award 2014-15 Achievement Award 2014-15

Professor Gillian Schofield - Professor of Child and Family Social Work, Head of School, SWK

Professor Gillian Schofield is an internationally renowned social work scholar with particular expertise and impact in the field of fostering. In 2006 Gillian’s research with her colleague Mary Beek led to the development and publishing of the Secure Base Model of caregiving for vulnerable children.  Since that time Gillian has worked tirelessly to support the implementation of this attachment based model by a broad range of professionals. The model was recommended in a UK Government White Paper as a basis for training UK foster carers and it has now also been used to support and improve foster care practice in Europe, China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Presentation at UEA Court in July 2015


28th September 2015 - London Borough of Southwark’s Annual Fostering and Adoption conference presentation on the Secure Base Model (see below)

News & updates News & updates


The Secure Base Model is featured the latest edition of UEA's Ziggurat magazine (see p.48)

Gillian is working with a number of new organisations, including the Berry Street Childhood Institute in Australia, who are interested in implementing the Secure Base Model for their children in foster care in the State of Victoria.  

Gillian gave a day's training to 80 Berry Street staff on the 16th February which will be the basis of a future working relationship to establish the Secure Base model of therapeutic caregiving in the organisation. An open day for the public held on17th February was sold out, with practitioners and agencies attending from all over Australia.

Media coverage included a live interview about her work with Berry Street on ABC radio and a feature in The Age

Forthcoming talks in 2016 include:

April – Norway talk about joint work of the Secure Base/Trygg base (ongoing since 2006) at an event to celebrate the work of leading Norweigian foster care expert Toril Havik.

May – Boston talks for academics and practitioner agencies.

June – Rome to provide advanced training for inter-country adoption specialists.

August – Sydney talk at the Association of Child Welfare Agencies’ biennial conference.

Links and details to follow

The Centre has recently received funding from the UEA ESRC Impact Accelerator fund for the development of website training materials and to promote training in fostering and adoption agencies.

The team have recently learned that the model is being used by youth offending teams in Italy to help improve their work with young people. This resulted from the translation of the centre’s main text book into Italian in 2013.

Contact details Contact details