The authors

Christine Gordon is co-founder of Family Futures Consortium in London, which specialise in offering assessment, intensive therapy and support to families who have fostered or adopted traumatised children. Christine works as an expert witness in complex child care situations. She is also the founder of Adapt (Scotland), an organisation that offers bespoke parenting and therapeutic support programmes to adoptive and foster parents who are caring for traumatised children. She is involved in the training and support of parent mentors in Scotland and has written several books and articles on parenting traumatised children and on supporting adoptive parents.

Christine completed her degree course in 1979 and her CQSW two years later. She is an adoptive parent and is involved in the promotion of attachment theory and in developing parenting and therapeutic interventions to help traumatised children and their families.

Christine has been working and living with traumatised children for many years and is a firm advocate of the centrality of family for every child and a firm believer that change is possible for children if parents are helped to develop the skills they need to promote repair and healing in their children.

In her spare time Christine is a keen cyclist and hillwalker; she likes nothing better than exploring the hills of her native Scotland and has climbed extensively in the other countries of the United Kingdom and beyond.

Karen Wallace has over 20 years’ experience in the field of working with children and young people; her knowledge base and skills have come from her experiences of working as an educational worker, residential worker, social worker and as a foster carer. In her role as a foster carer, she has supported children and young people with major trauma and neglect, within her family setting. Karen has also worked with children and young people in the community, befriending and also undertaking outreach work with children and their families to try and prevent children from being received into the care system. Karen also has three birth children on whom she can hone her parent mentoring skills.

Karen has an Honours Degree in Psychology & Sociology (1998) and completed her BA Social Work in 2006.

Karen’s passion for Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) was born in 2005 and further inspired by Dan Hughes, an eminent DDP practitioner who pioneers an approach based on theory and research in attachment and trauma and which supports and strengthens the relationship and understanding between parent and child. Karen has also undertaken Theraplay training; this complements DDP and provides Karen with further strategies to support parents/carers.

Karen has worked alongside Christine since 2012, as a parent mentor and more recently as Co-Director of Adapt, Scotland. Her role involves supporting adoptive and permanent families with strategies in developmental re-parenting to minimise disruptions and bring some joy back to family relationships.

Karen’s motivation to become a foster carer came from a belief that families are central to promoting children’s emotional development and growth and to helping them to repair the trauma they experienced in their early years. Karen is passionate about the support she provides to adoptive and long-term foster carers; she is aware of how trauma impacts on both children and their parents/carers especially if they are not adequately supported and encouraged to look after themselves.

When time allows, Karen enjoys travelling throughout Scotland using her family membership passes with the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland. Foreign family holidays and short breaks are also a way of relaxing and spending quality time with family and friends. Karen is also a keen reader and an active member of a local book club.