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Barnardo's Link: Adoption and Family Support Service

Contact details

Barnardo's Link: Adoption and Family Support Service
54 Head Street

Public phone:


Website URL:

General information

Service offered: Adoption Support Therapeutic services for prospective adopters, adoptive families, adopted children and young people, adopted adults, birth family members and, in recent years, families where children are placed under a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). The Attachment Focused Therapy (AFT) service is designed to encourage the attachment or bonding between the adoptive parent/s and the child/ren in order to build the beginnings of a trusting relationship which gives mutual attachment, predictability, esteem, and pleasure. This therapeutic parenting model is underpinned by Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, promoting the principles of PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy), as developed by Dan Hughes. AFT can be modified in its delivery to address particular challenges the family may be facing at the time, for example:My Life therapy is undertaken with the parents and child together exploring the relationship between the child’s past and present lives. Age-related tools such as Life Roads or a Memory Box can be used, and a pre-existing Life Story Book can be re-worked and updated. This helps the child to understand and express their feelings, to tell their story and to identify the connections between the past and the present. Stronger Families therapy is a preventive service offered to prospective adopters in the crucial time between linking, matching panel and placement, which helps them to plan and prepare for the particular therapeutic parenting style and skills best suited to the child they are intending to adopt. Early Placement therapy continues the work of Stronger Families during the important first few months after the placement has been made. On-going Support therapy can be offered after the completion of an AFT service, with monthly sessions over six months to support the family maintain progress and to address any difficulties or problems that may arise during this period.Reconnect therapy is undertaken with parents and their adolescent or adult child where perhaps a previously good and stable family relationship is at risk of breaking down, or has already broken down. The therapy aims to build bridges, to develop coping strategies, to improve communication within the family and enable the whole family to talk about what they would like for the future. All of the above services are eligible for funding through the Adoption Support Fund. General Population Work. As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, LINK has also developed a range of general population therapeutic support services for families with children and young people. We are now undertaking general population work in areas such as: life-limiting, degenerative disease; return to school; support to Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities; and mental health (current Tiers 2 – 4). We can align our service offer to Tiers 2 and 3 of the THRIVE model of mental health service design and delivery.The Family Support Service is a holding and containing intervention open to any family with children or young people. Delivered by qualified therapists over the telephone or by live video link, this core service supports the family to: Encourage communication between family members. Explore any fears, anxieties, difficulty or distress. Help with conflict and conflict resolution skills. Develop strategies to improve the family’s situation. Find practical solutions to the daily challenges.The therapist responds to the family’s individual needs with acceptance, understanding and empathy to secure the best possible outcome with regards to family’s stability, mental health and wellbeing. Families Together: Mental Health Support Services - The Families Together service provides support to children, young people and parents/carers where the child or young person is living with mental ill health. Families Together is delivered by qualified therapists who are competent and confident working in such circumstances. Families Together can be offered to the whole family, to the parents/carers or as a direct therapeutic support to the child or young person. The service, however, is not intended to be a substitute for necessary mental health clinical services provided by the relevant NHS Mental Health Trust. Families Together has been designed to secure the best possible outcome with regards to family stability, mental health and wellbeing, as well as to contribute to the avoidance of, and/or contribute to a successful discharge from, in-patient psychiatric care.

Target group: Anyone affected by adoption.

Area served: We have therapists across the East, South-East, South, and West of England. In addition, we can now provide virtual therapy throughout the UK using live video platforms such as Zoom, Meet or Teams.

How to contact: Email -


Monday: 9am – 5pm

Tuesday: 9am – 5pm

Wednesday: 9am – 5pm

Thursday: 9am – 5pm

Friday: 9am – 5pm

Weekends: Closed

Office Hours: Not Open


Wheelchair access: Yes - full

Accessible toilets: Yes

Access notes: Parking for disabled drivers; entrance (eg level, ramped or steps); stairs or lifts in the building and access to signers, loop system

Other information

Languages other than English: French, Spanish, Arabic, Gujarati, Sylheti, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Bengali, Rohingya, Mirpuri, Pothwari, and Hindko

Charity number: 216250

Year established: 1999


Public transport: Train station, buses.

Record last checked: 01 September 2021


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