Research and Development

We continually seek to develop our services, ensuring we harness innovation to provide the best outcomes and evidence-based specialist care for children and young people.

Our Assessment & Therapy Research and Development team work directly with universities and researchers to keep up-to-date with practical approaches, enabling us to better understand and provide the best outcomes for our children and young people.

Our research group consists of our Head of Assessment & Therapy, Referrals and Research Co-ordinator, and an Assistant Research Psychologist. We are also proud to collaborate with Dr Saul Hillman from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, and University College London (UCL).

Our Research

Exploring Attachment and Internal Representations in Looked-After Children

Saul Hillman, Richard Cross and Katharine Anderson, 19 March 2020

This research explored the use of Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP) in primary school-aged (4-11 years) looked-after children in placement at Five Rivers Child Care. SSAP is a narrative-based measure for the assessment of internal representations.

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Exploring Foster Carers’ Experiences of the Assessment and Feedback Processes of Children in Their Care

Saul Hillman, Katharine Anderson, Christina Demetri and Richard Cross, 26 October 2021

This research explores perspectives of foster carers within Five Rivers Child Care (FRCC). The two-fold study involved understanding foster carers’ perceptions both of routine assessments and subsequent feedback procedures’ activities which are mandatory to facilitate foster carers understanding of the wellbeing needs of the young people within their care.

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The Manifestations and Correlates of Dissociation amongst Looked-After Children in Middle Childhood

Holly Martin, Saul Hillman, Richard Cross and Katharine Anderson, February 2022

This paper explores the presence and role of dissociation in primary school-aged (4-11 years) looked-after children in placement at Five Rivers Child Care.

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The Internal Worlds of Sexually Abused Looked-After Children

Johanna Mackin, Saul Hillman, Richard Cross and Katharine Anderson, 30 March 2022

This study explored the internal worlds of looked-after children who have experienced sexual abuse. Internal worlds refer to the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs a child holds about themselves, the world, and others. The internal world of a child is shaped by their relationships, especially those early in development, with their parents or caregivers.

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Internal representations of attachment in Story Stems: changes in the narratives of foster care children.

Saul Hillman, Carolina Villegas, Katharine Anderson, Asa Kerr-Davis and Richard Cross, 07 July 2022

This paper aimed to explore the changes of internal representations and attachment style over a one-year period, as well as potential factors that could influence them. The Story Stem Assessment Profile was administered at two time points twelve months apart and demonstrated that attachment and trauma-informed care has the potential to shift a looked-after child’s developmental trajectory.

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