Welcome to The Belay Foundation

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News & Updates

We’ve launched a campaign to raise awareness of disability benefits for children and young people. We want everyone parenting a child who has been through the care system to know about the existence of Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment. We’re starting with DLA:
For only £25, the Belay "DLA Support Pack" will gently guide you through every step of the process.
Join us for DDP PACE training online. This 2-day training will allow you to explore PACE within a DDP-informed approach. Our trainers have personal and professional experience of therapeutic approaches with children and carers and are certified DDP PACE trainers.
If you are looking for last minute tickets for the Far Far Beyond The Adoption Order Conference (17 & 18 May) please do join us - book via the link below.

Who We Are

The Belay Foundation is a charity helping families whose children have suffered early life trauma.

We work across the UK offering practical help to families and helping everyone supporting them.The impacts of early life trauma can be profound and affect every aspect of a child’s life, and every aspect of family life. Normal routines, education, friendships, psychological, emotional and physical development can all be difficult for a child who has experienced abuse, neglect and moving families. Relationships are the most powerful part of a child’s recovery, particularly their relationship with their parents.We support families to help them focus on and strengthen the relationships in their family.
Helping families across the UK
Offering specialist support
Creating a space for healing

What Does Belay Mean?

Belay is a climbing term. To belay is to offer safety to another climber by standing at the bottom of a mountain, holding the rope that keeps the climber secure.

Ropes, clips and another encouraging person standing solidly below makes sure the climber is safe and feels safe.

Knowing they are safe means the climber can explore, climb higher and enjoy the climb. Climbing is a big part of our lives and a metaphor for what we hope to achieve for families.

The Belay Foundation can be part of the team belaying a family, offering practical help at home, supporting the family to access funds, and maximising the capacity and strength of the parents and everyone around the family to pull together and keep everyone safe. 

How We Help

The Belay Foundation understands how hard it can be to parent a child who has experienced early trauma.

Parenting can be emotionally and physically exhausting and it can be difficult to find someone to offer practical but therapeutic help at home such as childcare.

The Belay Foundation has specialist knowledge in finding, training and supporting trauma-responsive childcare and youth mentors. We call these professionals Specialist Support Workers. We help families to work out what they need and how to find someone, and we offer the professionals providing that support with training an supervision. Although Specialist Support Workers work individually with families, there is a growing Belay community to share knowledge, skills and encouragement. 

Our overall aim is to bring together those needing help and those offering support to improve the life chances of children impacted by trauma

The Belay Foundation understands how difficult it can be to manage the extra costs that often come with parenting a child who has experienced early trauma.

Many children living with early trauma can find every day activities (such as getting dressed, going to school, staying calm and regulated, enjoying nursery, spending time with friends, or attending wraparound care) very difficult. As parents, helping our children to manage as best they can – and finding solutions or offering support when they struggle – can be financially as well as emotionally draining.

The Belay Foundation has extensive experience supporting families in accessing disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and also in signposting families to broader support. This can help fund sensory equipment, pay towards specialist in-home support, offset some of the loss in income for parents for find their children’s need for relational care reduces their capacity to pursue their previous careers (or indeed manage paid employment at all), or simply help with replacing smashed technology or repairing walls. 

The Belay Foundation recognises that bringing up children who have experienced early life trauma can be difficult, lonely, unexpectedly complex, and demand extra skills, resilience and resources from both parents and their wider friends and family.

Parenting can be a lonely, hard road, and many parents find their capacity is stretched to the limit. At the same time, wider family and friends may not understand why bringing up children living with early trauma often leads families to explore different approaches to family life, to parenting, and indeed sometimes to adopt ways of living that may seem bewildering or counter-intuitive. 

The Belay Foundation has developed a range of parenting and family network support options to help alleviate the loneliness, provide more resilience, and assist families and friends to feel more confident and comfortable helping to scaffold the family.

See What Our Workers and Families Say

Stories from our community.

Adoption Support Therapist
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I have been in touch with you in relation to a number of families in the last couple of months. I can honestly say that your service seems like some kind of miracle!
Specialist Support Worker
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I am enjoying it so much, and feeling so supported and reassured.
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The service has been excellent. It has removed the time and stress involved in trying to recruit the right kind of person. It has also supported us by offering support /training for the Specialist Support Worker particularly as the behaviours of our children can sometimes be difficult to explain.
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We have been really impressed with the Belay Foundation. The process has been supportive and very efficient.

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