Support for children moving families

Our reviews

By Your Side model

By Your Side training

Not Again, Little Owl

By Your Side model

  • Not since Vera Falberg’s A Child’s Journey Through Placement has a book in the field of child welfare illustrated the imperative to advocate from the child’s perspective more clearly than By Your Side. The simple but essential image that the adults should walk by the child’s side is exactly the framework necessary for maximizing positive outcomes in child mental health during these otherwise traumatic life transitions. Dr Norris is the leader in this field and her book should be on the shelf of every social worker worldwide.

    Dafna Lender
    LCSW The TheraplayⓇ Institute Program Director
  • How we support children through the transition to a new family can make such a big difference to their emotional well-being and long term security. By Your Side provides practical, detailed guidance on how to do this in an attachment-focused, trauma-informed way. This approach can provide enormous support for children, families and professional networks to navigate the emotional complexities of transitioning to a new family.

    The impact of helping families at this early stage can’t be underestimated.

    Dr Emily Barnbrook
    Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead for ISL Health and Wellbeing Team, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust
  • As a social worker who has been involved in supporting children, foster carers and prospective adoptive families though the process of adoption for nearly 20 years, the By Your Side model has proved to be invaluable in terms of providing a child focused approach to moving on to permanence where all of the significant people in the child’s life are involved. I have particularly found the guidance helpful when working with children who have already experienced a disruption in the past, those children who are considered to be “harder to place” and with sibling groups.

    The By Your Side approach was highly valuable during the process of placing a sibling group who had already experienced four failed introductions. Five years later, the family are doing well and have reflected that the therapeutic input provided through the process provided the foundations on which their family is now built

    Jennie Forsyth
    Senior Social Worker and Certified Theraplay Practitioner
  • I found the train the trainer day interactive and inspiring. I was provided with a clear framework that also allowed for an individual presentation of the material. So far as the training itself was concerned, this was very well received. The participants enjoyed the range of ideas and activities provided and have subsequently fed back on how useful the ‘learning playfulness’ element was.

    As a trainer with experience of adoption myself I found that introducing the By Your Side model to prospective adopters really helped in talking about introductions and early times being really hard for children and how to make the most of the support provided in the model. It helped them to be able to focus on the child/ren and prepare for the task ahead.

    Sarah Coldrick
    AFA Cymru
  • Using Theraplay® during introductions enabled us to get to know our children in a more in depth way through having fun and playing together from the moment that we first met them. Having the opportunity to share our children’s lives and understand their experiences in partnership with their foster carer really helped us to gain a better insight into their worlds in preparation for becoming their parents.

    Adoptive parent
  • When a child moves home, it is never easy to acknowledge openly and honestly that both the child and the adults may experience any combination of sadness, fear, anger, confusion and excitement. Vivien Norris’s guide provides a detailed and clear process to follow during transitions that takes into account the impact of trauma, disrupted attachments and multiple losses for a child, at the same time supporting all the adults involved.

    At each step Vivien provides clear ideas and examples of attachment-focused and relationship-based practice for parents, foster carers, social workers and therapists. Many helpful phrases are included to help adults talk about experiences that can be so hard to put into words. This guide is highly recommended. It is an invaluable resource for those who care for and work with children during transitions

    Julie Hudson
    Clinical Psychologist, Trainer, Consultant & Practitioner in DDP, DDP Connects UK Director
  • In ‘By Your Side’ Viv Norris has written an essential guide for all those involved in helping a child transition from one family to another. It is not easy to get these transitions right for the children, and these moves will always be experienced as traumatic to some degree. All adults involved in supporting the child must work together to reduce the impact of this. Viv’s book and accompanying training provides a sound model and practical advice for doing just this. If we invest in the right support at these critical times we will be protecting the child’s future health and wellbeing.

    Kim Golding
    Clinical Psychologist, Trainer, Consultant & Practitioner in DDP

By Your Side training

  • Beyond wonderful. The model is an asset and will be used within my clinic. Thank you.

    Therapist and Co-Director
  • Thank you, I loved every aspect of this training and will be strongly advocating that we incorporate it as a transition model into our service.

    Psychological Therapist
  • I really really appreciated the professional and human skills of the trainers.


Not Again, Little Owl

  • Stories are such an important tool for helping children to understand and to feel understood. This is a delightfully illustrated story which will be of great help for children who unfortunately have to face moving too many times. Believing that the final family is permanent is so hard for these children. Knowing that others understand this through sharing this story will be very supportive, allowing the child to feel more secure, little by little.

    Kim Golding CBE, Clinical Psychologist
    Trainer, Consultant & Practitioner in DDP
  • It is about time that there was a story like this that lets children see that somebody gets it. This is no fairytale. All we can really promise children is to acknowledge how difficult it all is and be sure there is some consistency in the handover muddle.

    Sally Bell
    Adoptive parent
  • A lovely story that tackles the realities of the many transitions in our children’s lives with compassion and hope.

    Sally Donovan
    Author and adoptive parent

Need to get in touch?

If you have any questions about the By Your Side model, the training or resources please get in touch through our contact form.