Bringing Bowlby to caregivers worldwide

Photographers: Morten Jacobsen co-director and Ingeborg Simoni Leere, relations manager at Fairstart.

The millions of uprooted, placed and abandoned children call for professionals to develop large-scale education and training solutions. The paper, The Fairstart Theory of Change, by WAIMH member, Niels Peter Rygaard, describes how blended learning so far has trained the caregivers of 30.000 placed children and youth on all continents.

The mission of the Fairstart Foundation is to create a mutual flow between research and practices among three groups: international researchers, organizations in charge of children and youth placed in care, and frontline caregivers. In two-year partnerships with NGOs and professional organizations,  attachment based theory and recommended care practices are developed as blended learning group training programs, and four month instructor educations. In local language versions, adjusted to culture. So far, 18 free online language versions have been implemented in 20 countries on all continents.

This paper describes how blended learning designs can train large amounts of caregiver groups, support the rise of local expert trainer networks, and minimize an organization’s budgets for quality care development. As one example, foster and kinship family training with SOS Children’s Villages in six African countries is described, as well as research in blended learning compared to other didactic methods. Link to paper at the Fair Start Foundation web-page.


Readers and organisations interested in this concept are welcome to contact the author at

Niels Peter Rygaard, DPA authorized psychologist, Denmark

Adoption expert for Socialstyrelsen VISO