FACT - Five to Thrive: Attachment, Trauma and Resilience Training
Five to Thrive: Attachment, Trauma and Resilience is an ambitious training programme for people who work with expectant parents, children, young people and families. It is part of the Families and Children's Transformation (FACT) programme and provides high level training to ensure those working with these groups can provide a positive impact. The training helps those working with these groups to:
- support secure attachment: building healthy relationships which are essential to wellbeing
- promote self-regulation and resilience: better support people to manage their emotions and behaviours positively which will help strengthen their ability to recover quicker from difficulties
- be trauma informed: understand the potential impact of trauma on children and young people and know how best to respond
- understand the impact of adult responses to the behaviour of children, young people and families to improve outcomes
- develop a common language and understanding
- Over 500 Five to Thrive / Trauma Informed Champions who work with children and young people aged 0-19 are expected to complete the Five to Thrive: Attachment, Trauma and Resilience (FTT:ATR) course delivered by Kate Cairns Associates (KCA)
- A small multi-agency group of trained champions will then become FTT:ATR Trainers
- FTT:ATR Trainers will go on to train a further 1,500+ staff
- Champions and trainers will be part of a FTT/ Trauma Informed Champions Network to share practice and support champions to embed the new learning in practice
'Five to Thrive':
- Represents a sequence of activities that happen when one person connects best with another person to meet an attachment need*. This sequence is necessary for our brains to be healthy
- Is based on neuroscience
- Is a sequence that we do not usually think about consciously. For many people the five steps happen automatically during our interactions with others, but this is not the case for everyone
- Is a model that when applied consciously helps to
- promote healthy brain development in children and young people;
- maintain healthy brain function through the life course
- support recovery from trauma
- build resilience
- Is a strengths-based model**
|Step||What's happening?||Importance for the brain|
|Respond||being emotionally available for someone||develops patterns in the brain for feeling safe and belonging|
|Engage||close proximity between two people so nervous systems can match||develops patterns in the brain for connecting with others and trusting others|
|Relax||supporting someone with attachment needs to relax||develops patterns in the brain for self regulation|
|Play||processing the activity using positive non-verbal communication and stimulating the right brain||develops patterns in the brain for understanding and managing feelings|
|Talk||creating a narrative and stimulating the left brain||develops patterns in the brain for making sense of experience through the use of words and narrative|
Safety and mattering are essential for a healthy functioning nervous system
When attachment needs are being met in children and young people it supports them to form a strong sense of identity, to develop their ability to self-regulate and to build resilience. In turn this enables them to form positive relationships and to integrate well into the community.
Attachment needs manifest throughout our lives and Five to Thrive provides a model to help us understand the importance of addressing this and how to fulfil these needs most effectively across the life course.
The first 1001 days (conception to 2 years) of a baby's life are most critical for laying the foundations for future cognitive, emotional and behavioural development due to the rapid development of the brain in these early years. Babies are born without the ability to self-soothe and rely entirely on a responsive, attuned primary carer to meet their attachment needs. Healthy Five to Thrive responses from a carer are necessary for healthy brain development and the development of self-regulation.
When attachment needs are not being met a range of different behaviours and/or challenges can be observed including those listed below. Recognising these behaviours and/or challenges among children and young people and relating them to Five to Thrive can indicate which steps in the sequence may benefit from more focus from a calm, supportive adult.
Whilst the focus here is on supporting children and young people these challenges are not unique to children and can be observed into adulthood. Five to Thrive support can, therefore, be applied in the same way.
|Five to Thrive steps||If attachment needs are not being met children may:|
Five to Thrive is a model that can be used when working with anyone to promote healthy brain development and also in a targeted way with those who need more support.
We are all vulnerable
We all have attachment needs when we feel unsafe
We are all resilient
We can all contribute to meeting the attachment needs of other people
People need people
Five to Thrive interactions are important throughout the life course providing us with the healthy nourishment our brains need.
Trauma is brain injury caused by exposure to events that cause overwhelming stress, sometimes known as 'toxic' stress. Humans are not born able to regulate stress but develop this ability through being with self-regulating, responsive adults. Support from caring adults protects children from trauma. It is, therefore, vital that everyone who works with children and young people understands trauma and is able to embed this learning into their practice.
Adults can also experience overwhelming levels of stress and will need the support of other caring adults to recover. If the stress is complex and has been affecting their emotions and behaviour since childhood, the support they will need is likely to be intensive and lengthy.
Most people recover spontaneously from traumatic life events however, some are left traumatised. Until they recover people affected by toxic stress struggle to: self-regulate; process information and manage the world around them; and make and maintain relationships.
Five to Thrive is an easily accessible model that can be woven into everyday interactions to support recovery from trauma. It is not a replacement for intensive therapy that some people may need, but it is supportive and accessible to all. The Five to Thrive steps reflect a process of co-regulation, guidance and support needed for families, children and young people in this situation.
For more information and resources
Go to kca training and click on the link to register. This will then give you access to a range of resources and information developed by Kate Cairns Associates (KCA), the training provider for this programme.
Please see our downloadable pdf for reference and sharing with colleagues.
Five to Thrive provides emotional nurture that is as important in feeding the brain as physical nurture is in feeding the body.
Attachment needs occur when someone feels critically unsafe or that they do not matter. This then triggers attachment behaviours.
For babies, attachment behaviours include: crying, screaming, back-arching (aversive attachment behaviours) or smiling, gurgling, cooing (attractive attachment behaviours). Attractive attachment behaviours stop if there is no response.
In later childhood or adulthood, unregulated stress can trigger aversive attachment behaviours associated with fight, flight or freeze.
Five to Thrive is to be used as a model that empowers people and builds on their strengths. It enables practitioners to:
- Recognise the positive impact of a 'Five to Thrive' interaction when working with children, young people and families.
- Support parents to notice when positive Five to Thrive interactions are happening and to share the knowledge that this interaction is promoting healthy brain development and/or supporting healthy brain function and promoting self-regulation and resilience.
- Support young people to understand the basic principles of healthy human interaction and how this can help them and others.
This strengths-based approach is encouraging and empowering for practitioners and parents and motivates them to repeat this style of interacting.