Dyadic Developmental Practice

Dyadic Developmental Practice is a broad approach for parenting and caring for children.

Dyadic Developmental Practice Diagram

Dyadic Developmental Practice Diagram

This is a model for professionals and parents to support children to recover from trauma and disrupted attachments through the parenting, education and care they receive as well as through therapy.

It includes a framework for practice across all levels of service delivery in social care, education and child and adolescent mental health services.

The diagram shows how the different service and practice layers link together.

A summary of the approach can be found in Dyadic Developmental Practice: A framework for Therapeutic Intervention and Parenting

Dyadic Developmental Practice aims


To help parents and professionals working together to:

  • Ensure the child has the best possible relationship with one or two adults who have a parenting role through day-to-day care
  • Help the child develop as much attachment security as is possible through consistent and attuned parenting, having a safe place to live in a home that is as permanent as possible
  • Enable whoever is in the most permanent, safest, consistent and attuned primary parenting role with the child, understand the child in the context of their past history and experiences
  • Help those who are involved in parenting the child to develop the most effective ways of helping and supporting the child, to manage behaviours that are concerning to the child and to others
  • Be proactive with foster and adoptive families, and the networks around them, in suggesting and promoting the most effective supports and interventions to be in place for the  child and the parent(s), such as educational, social, practical as well as therapeutic
  • Help all professionals working with the child ensure that the child and their behaviour is understood and that the child feels as safe as is possible at home, in school, and in social activities

Professionals discussingDyadic Developmental Practice involves teaching, training and consultations for parents and professionals associated with the child.

The aim is to create a safe network of people, all working together.

Examples include:

  • Agency staff training
  • Training programmes for parents, individually and in a group setting
  • Meeting with parents and their support network such as social workers
  • Working with schools, teaching staff and other key educational professionals to develop attachment-focused teaching environments


Guidance on commissioning training in Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP)

More information about current Dyadic Developmental Practice commissioning guidelines can be found on the general Training page.