Recommendation ID

Screening assessment tools:- Develop reliable and valid screening assessment tools for attachment and sensitivity that can be made available and used in routine health, social care and education settings.

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- Validated attachment and sensitivity tools are needed. They must be sensitive enough to detect children and young people at risk of attachment difficulties and changes in behaviour in response to an attachment-based intervention.
The window of opportunity to intervene before a child develops attachment difficulties is small, therefore the sensitivity tool should have strong psychometric properties.
Tools are needed for assessing sensitivity and attachment for biological parents and foster or adoptive parents of children and young people across all groups (0–17 years).
The tool must be readily available and able to be used in routine and social care settings before and after an intervention.
A cohort study is needed to validate any tool (new or existing) that can identify children and young people who have attachment difficulties at different ages. The study should include the following outcomes:
- sensitivity and specificity
- predictive validity (more than 12 months for outcomes such as behavioural problems and
- ongoing attachment difficulties).
A cohort study is also needed to validate any tool (new or existing) that can measure the sensitivity of parenting (by biological parents and new carers and adoptive parents) in relation to the child (of any age). The study should include the outcomes listed above.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Children’s attachment: attachment in children and young people who are adopted from care, in care or at high risk of going into care
Date issued
November 2015

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 30/11/2015