Hopeful avenues of healing for the children and families you care for

You care so much about the families you work with

Sometimes it can be overwhelming and even discouraging. We want to take a load off of your shoulders and help with these complicated cases.

One of our strengths is using developmental knowledge of child-parent relationships to clear up the mystery of recurrent behavioral and emotional problems, and helping create long-lasting change. We are here to support you in finding hopeful avenues of healing for the children and families you care for.

Most of our services are funded through the Comprehensive Services Act, Adoption Subsidy, or other private means, often requiring approval from the local Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) and Community Management and Policy Team (CPMT). We provide support to you in making this request as a part of our intake process. Please let us know if you would like us to attend a FAPT meeting with you to help explain our service.

This is complex, difficult work and our primary objective is to hire and support the best clinicians in the field, and provide them with extensive support and ongoing training as they work with families in their care. This enables them to encounter the challenges many of our families face and to have the confidence to work with intense situations within complex family systems. 

If you have a family that you would like to refer, here’s what you can expect:

  • Please call or email us anytime. We will talk through your questions and concerns and together we can determine if our service is a good fit for you. This initial consultation is at no cost, and will provide clarity around the next step forward. 
  • We will support you in taking the referral to FAPT for funding and send one of our therapists along at your request. Please confirm through email the dates and amount of funding that was approved.
  • If you are requesting our Intensive Therapeutic Intervention Service, we will set up a date with the parents for the attachment evaluation. This gives us an understanding of the child’s attachment patterns, emotion regulation patterns and trauma symptoms which provides the basis for our specific intervention goals. You will receive a a one-page summary of assessment results regarding the child.
  • One of our Secure Child therapists will reach out to the caregiver to set up a meeting schedule and begin forming a connection. The therapist will be available for meetings and consultation for the duration of service.

Here are some reasons for you to contact the Secure Child & Virginia Attachment Center:

The Child:

  • Has experienced abuse, neglect, loss of a caregiver, or other relational trauma
  • Is at risk of going into foster care (foster care prevention)
  • Placement is at risk of disrupting, or needs help stabilizing
  • Has had multiple placements
  • Difficult behavior is increasing, rather than decreasing
  • Has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, RAD, PTSD, anxiety or depression
  • Needs help with regulating emotions and behavior
  • Has a problem with lying, stealing and/or aggression
  • Has trouble with peers and/or teachers
  • Showing role-reversed behavior or is parentified
  • Displays passive or depressed behavior

The Caregiver:

The Caregiver:

  • Struggles to understand and connect with their child
  • Employs punitive approaches as their primary way of discipline
  • Does not provide the child with limits and guidance
  • Has trouble regulating their own emotions with the child
  • Is highly stressed or frightened of the child
  • Is puzzled by the child’s behavior and at a loss for how to help the child
  • Has an emotional/relational history that is getting in the way
  • Other services have been tried with little improvement

Services we offer

Intensive Therapeutic Intervention  (Our primary service)

This relationship-based therapeutic intervention is intended for parents and caregivers who are raising biologic, adoptive, or foster children who display challenging or confusing behavior. This intervention blends therapy with psychoeducation about child development, trauma, attachment, and emotion regulation. It is an individualized approach based on results from a video-recorded evaluation of child relationship patterns and trauma.

Evaluation of Attachment-Caregiving Patterns

The Attachment-Caregiving evaluation examines the child’s attachment patterns and emotional needs, the parent’s caregiving patterns and relational history, and the goodness of fit in that relationship. This evaluation makes use of evidence-based observation procedures, interviews, and questionnaires that yield results for addressing questions regarding placement, custody, and intervention needs.

Child and Adolescent Therapy

We offer outpatient therapy for the children (ages 3-18) of caregivers who are participating in our intensive therapeutic intervention. Informed by developmental needs, presenting concerns, and results from the family’s attachment assessment, this service utilizes a variety of age-appropriate approaches. The two Secure Child therapists will work together to form a cohesive approach that is best suited for addressing the specific needs of both the child/adolescent and the caregiver(s).  

Individual Caregiver Education

This ten-hour course is for caregivers experiencing mild to moderate stress with their child and is aimed at providing education in the fundamentals of attachment processes, trauma, and child development. It can be broadly applied to the special needs of children with histories of loss, maltreatment and trauma.

Consultation and Training

We provide consultation for social work staff, administrators, CSA coordinators, and other child welfare professionals to support decision-making around clinical questions, intervention planning, and policy issues related to attachment, trauma, and child development 

Group Attachment Security Course for Caregivers

This is a practical course for caregivers whose children have experienced neglect, abuse, loss, trauma, or other developmental challenges. The course meets weekly for 10 weeks in-person or over video conference. It is designed to be psychoeducational and experiential and is not group psychotherapy. The goal is to help caregivers learn additional ways of meeting children’s emotional and relationship needs through co-regulation, soothing, and emotional partnership.