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Session 9/13

Page 1/4: The Secure Base Model: Developing family like groups and continuity in social relations

The Secure Base Model: Developing family like groups  and continuity in social relations

“The organisation made a number of regulations. In order to seem like family environment we got rid of our uniforms and started to wear comfortable casual clothes. Children’s rooms were already home-like but there were some more changes. For example we found sheep skins and used them for cleaning the babies’ nappies. We made a baby park at certain hours. We spread blankets on the floor and put the babies on them and had them to see each other. We had bigger children to be with younger babies and gave responsibilities to older ones. This has strengthened our relationships.

Staff member’s statement

Competences to be exercised:
 To understand the two basic premises for healthy child development
•  To discuss and plan what you can do to obtain these premises in your organization

Theme of the session:
In this training session you will work with understanding the two basic needs for children: personal long term relations to a few stable caregivers, and the sense of belonging to a group of peers and caregivers. You will then discuss and maybe revise work schedules to find the best balance between what is possible for staff and leader (depending on local legislation and collective agreements for work hours), and children’s need for having the same caretakers during the day and the year. The leader and people responsible for knowing work schedules participate in this session.

Aims of the session:
All human beings – and especially children placed outside home – have two very basic social needs if they are to learn healthy attachment and become active members of society: 8 The need for stable relations to a few specific adult caregivers This is especially important for the formation of secure attachment in children younger than three. 8 The need for belonging to a specific group of peers and adults For children older than two years, group relations become just as important as having stable relations to a “parent figure” caretaker. These two functions we can call continuity in the child’s social relations. The goal is to discuss and (at some point in the future) decide how you can find the best possible work plans and schedules to offer caretaker and group continuity in the way you organize daily work and shifts. So certain groups of children have certain caretakers for long periods in the daytime.


“We prefer to tell the children that it will be a different person to make him/her sleep or wake up for each time. I am leaving by telling them: “I need to go home and rest for a while in order to be able to have a good time with you. I will miss you a lot till tomorrow but I know that the other caregiver also missed you a lot and she is looking forward to see you.” We solved our problem with this way.”
Staff member’s statement

Please use 15 minutes (or as much time as needed) for summing up what you worked with between the last session and this one:

• Did we succeed in doing what we planned?
• What was easy to do and what was difficult?
• What did we learn from doing what was planned?
• What can we do better next time you work between sessions?

Please remember: it is okay if you experienced problems – this is a new way of working, and it takes some exercise and experimenting before it becomes routine.