This page is for Foster and adoptive parents who want a little extra support

We would like to help foster and adoptive parents!

What if your organisation is not using the Pillars of Parenting approach? You may not have access to the ‘Emotional Warmth’ approach and the theory to help you understand the young person in your care. The approach involves training, attending consultations with a psychologist, agreeing and implementing strategies, making a baseline record and follow up assessments and agreeing to a set of professional childcare principals. Although we can’t provide consultations online, we can offer our assessments and key training materials to help you bring some order and understanding to the complexities of your responsibilities.

Foster Parents and Adoptive Parents offer, only £99 for a full year's
access to assessment and training materials.

This is what you get with your
'Progress and Development Checklist'

  • One 8 digit access token 

To access the Progress and Development Checklist you will receive an 8 digit token (this is to ensure anonymity) to allow you to log on to the online ‘Progress and Development Checklist’ and complete your baseline record. Shortly after completing your baseline record, you will receive an e-mail detailing your results with bar graphs which will help you to see which ‘parenting need’ to prioritise. You can then monitor progress with three further assessments during the year enabling you to compare the results to your baseline and identify priority parenting needs. The information is ideal for case review meetings and discussing furture objective and plans with your supervising social worker as it shows what you are doing, why you are doing it and the progress (or not) that the young person has made.

  • Training notes, a ‘Parenting Style’ assessment and Signature Strengths assessment available for download as follows:
    1. Objective observations (what you can see and count!)
    2. How to identify signature strengths in yourself and in young people.
      • How to meet your young person’s parenting needs
    3. Pillar 1: How to deliver primary care & protection.
    4. Pillar 2: Forming warm relationships.
    5. Pillar 3: How to improve  positive self-perception.
    6. Pillar 4: How to develop a sense of belonging.
    7. Pillar 5: How to build Resilience.
    8. Pillar 6: How to acheive self-management skills.
    9. Pillar 7: How to improve emotional competence.
    10. Pillar 8: How to  develope personal and social responsibility.
      • Trauma awareness
    11. Understanding and supporting adaptive emotional development.
  • Your own Parenting Style Assessment
    1. Training notes explaining the importance of Parenting Style
    2. Training notes on assessing your own Parenting Style
  • Signature Strengths Assessment for Adults
  • Signature Strengths Assessment for children and young people

For £99 you can use our online ‘Progress and Development Checklist’ for one year (for a baseline and three follow-up assessments) and access 11 sets of training notes, some relating specifically to the issues identified by your assessments. You will also be able to confidentially assess you own parenting style, your own signature strengths assessment and one for the signature strengths of the young person in your care.


The ‘Emotional Warmth Approach to Professional Childcare’ is one of a very few approaches in the world which has published peer-reviewed research data which shows significant improvement in the children and young people involved.

The approach involves an investment of time and money by the official local authority, government body or the organisation overseeing the care of the young person. The full service of the Pillars of Parent involves management commitment, induction training, training and support of the consultant psychologist, residential care staff or foster and adoptive parents attending consultations with the consultant psychologist, making baseline recordings across twelve areas relating to the young person parenting needs, then agreeing priorities and implement strategies from the consultation and attending our training programme.

Our approach is systematic, evidenced-based and has a strong theoretical underpinning. More importantly, the words ‘Emotional Warmth’ give a clue to the basic principles and expectations of the approach, we celebrate the building and maintaining of positive, healthy, attachments between the young people in care and those looking after them, we believe that it is these supportive relationships that make the difference in the young person’s life.

If you are working for an organisation which is not using the Pillars of Parenting approach, we have put together some materials to help you make a baseline record and three follow up assessments over a year. Then over the year you can access training materials relating to your needs to help you bring order and understanding to the complexities of your responsibilities.

Peer-reviewed research

Empowering foster and adoptive parents of young people in public care

Cameron, R.J. (2017) Child psychology beyond the school gates: Empowering foster and adoptive parents of young people in public care, who have been rejected, neglected and abused.  Educational and Child Psychology, 34 (3), pp.75-96.

Aim: In this article, an applied psychology approach designed to support carers of looked-after children is described and its impact on these young people is evaluated.

Rationale: Children and young people in public care are arguably the most vulnerable group in our society and despite considerable support and financial expenditure, their personal, social and wellbeing outcomes have remained stubbornly poor. In particular, school-based interventions have led to only slight improvements in attainment levels and these children still lag far behind their peers. The ‘Emotional Warmth’ model of professional child care was developed to empower residential carers and foster/ adoptive parents to understand and meet the often-complex needs of these children. In this article, the main components of the ‘Emotional Warmth’ model are described, the key role of the psychologist consultant is outlined and some input outcomes are considered.

Findings: The results of a ten-month ‘Emotional Warmth’ project involving the foster and adoptive parents of fourteen children are presented. The analysis shows that significant positive change occurred in both the behavioural and affective measures (p less than 0.05).  These results are discussed, as are the serendipitous benefits for both the educational psychologist consultants and their local authority service manager.

Limitations: Some methodological constraints are considered.

Conclusions: It is argued that this model of professional child care can enable foster and adoptive parents to achieve positive outcomes for the young people in their care.

Keywords: Children in public care; foster and adoptive parents; psychology-based interventions; group consultation; evaluating impact; improving outcomes for vulnerable children.


The Pillars of Parenting Ltd.,

Business & Innovation Centre,


Sunderland,  U.K.



Tel: 0191 516 6634 or 07983 544899

Company registered in the UK, number 06109026

V.A.T. registration No: 924147434