Information for the public

What is attachment?

What is attachment?

The feelings or bonds that you have with your family or carers when you are young or growing up help you feel safe, secure and loved. These feelings are known as 'attachment'.

If you don't get the care you need when you are young it can cause problems with how you feel about yourself, and sometimes how you behave when you are growing up. You may feel angry, sad or scared, and it may be harder to make friends or to do well at school. You may get into trouble because of how you behave.

This can be more of a problem for children who are in care or who have been fostered or adopted.

It is really important that anyone in care or going into care knows they are safe, secure and looked after.

NICE has written this guide so that children and young people get the help they need to build good relationships with the people who are caring for them. These carers could be family, like parents (birth or adopted), grandparents or aunts or uncles. Or they could be foster parents, family friends or guardians.

Anyone who needs help because they don't feel safe and secure should be able to get it. It doesn't matter where you are living, or who you are living with.

If there are any words or parts of this guide that you don't understand, you can ask your carer or someone in your support team to explain them to you. You can also check at the end to see explanations for some of the words used.

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