Each of our associates has years of excellence in practice, using the theory and research that underpins our training and consultancy to inform their own work.
They come from a variety of backgrounds: foster care, early years, teaching, therapy, social work, psychology, health and justice. Many of them have moved between disciplines, as their interests have taken them in different directions. What they all offer is a wealth of practical experience, both in direct work with vulnerable people, and in sharing their knowledge and wisdom with others.
Interested in becoming an associate?
Liza Lomax has been an associate at KCA since its inception and sums up her experience thus...
"I joined KCA hoping that it would offer a route to providing social workers and foster carers with the tools to work therapeutically with children traumatised by early experiences of abuse and serious neglect. I knew from my own experience of being a foster carer that such tools were not readily available and I was concerned that exciting knowledge about the brain's development - and how to heal it when injured - was being published and not being linked to practice as quickly as children needed it to be.
It's rare that dreams are realised - but, for me, that is what has happened through KCA's work. People from all sorts of backgrounds and experience come to training and leave at the end of the day with knowledge that they can put into practice and with a renewed sense of hope for better outcomes for their particular child.
The academic integrity and the professionalism of the organisation means that there is a constant evaluative process happening, ensuring that materials are up to date and the highest standards are maintained. KCA's expertise in the area of relationships is reflected in their interactions with their associates and we are empowered in our work just as children and carers are empowered by the training that we help to develop and deliver."
Kate is an author, speaker and trainer with an international reputation for her work around attachment, trauma and resilience, particularly in relation to vulnerable children and young people. She has been a social worker for forty years, and a trainer for twenty years.
With her husband Brian and their three birth children, Kate provided a permanent family for twelve other children between 1975 and 1997. Thereafter, she worked as a trainer/consultant and writer for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering. In 2002 she published Attachment, Trauma and Resilience, which explored how these three key concepts could provide a structure for understanding ourselves and those with whom we work. The book became a bestseller for BAAF and has influenced practice around the world.
Over the past decade, Kate has concentrated on translating the insights of current neuroscientific research on brain development and function into accessible knowledge and practice skills for carers and practitioners working with children and young people, and for those who support them. She has developed online learning and vocational qualifications, and provided widely-acclaimed training and consultancy to both universal and specialist services across social work, child care, health and education.
Since conducting research for her first book, Surviving Paedophilia (now reissued as Circles of Harm), Kate has been convinced that working with vulnerable people has to be a collaborative exercise. She therefore feels it is a great privilege to be part of a group of associates who embody the shared understanding and vision, and the unity of purpose and action, that are the vital ingredients for supporting recovery and transformation after trauma.
- 2011–Present: Director, KCA
- 2009–2011: Training Manager, als-akamas ltd
- 2004–2009: Founder & Training Director, Akamas Ltd
- 2002–2004: Training Director (Social Care), SfE
- 2001–2002: Chair of Adoption Panel, Gloucestershire CC
- 1999–2002: Trainer/Consultant, British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)
- 1996–1999: Training Officer (Looked After Children), Gloucestershire CC
- 1975–1997: Joint Head of Home/Foster Carer, Children's Family Trust
- Certificate in Social Work Education, NISW, 1989
- CQSW, Bristol University, 1986
- Diploma in Social Administration, Sheffield University, 1973
- BA (Hons) Theology & Social Science, Cambridge University, 1971
- Circles of Harm: Surviving paedophilia and network abuse (original edition published as Surviving Paedophilia, 1999) – Lonely Scribe, 2010
- (with Eileen Fursland) Building Identity – BAAF, 2008
- (with Eileen Fursland) Transitions and Endings – BAAF , 2008
- (with Eileen Fursland) Trauma and Recovery – BAAF, 2007
- (with Eileen Fursland) Safer Caring – BAAF, 2007
- (with Chris Stanway) Learn the Child: Helping looked after children to learn – BAAF, 2004
- Attachment, Trauma and Resilience: Therapeutic caring for children – BAAF, 2002
- “ It was an utterly inspiring training day - thank you! ” Participant, Wiltshire – August 2018
- “ Kate Cairns was amazing and I am so pleased that I have attended. ” Participant, Wiltshire – August 2018
- “ Kate Cairns has a lovely style to her facilitation. I really like someone who can apply concepts to real situations and the stories make it tangible and help integrate it for me. I think Kate does that really well. ” Participant, Renfrewshire – April 2018
- “ Thoroughly enjoyed the training, allowed the development of ideas that can be implemented quickly. The course also allowed for challenging questions to be raised regarding the consistency of approach which were answered effectively. ” Gregory Colyer, Hampshire – April 2018
- “ This training should be available for all people working with families, whether directly with children or not to help increase understanding for future generations. ” Claire Sawyers, Barnardo's – March 2018
- “ Kate was Fabulous and Engaging. The course really made me assess my way of dealing with people. ” Participant, Hampshire – February 2018
- “ Very inspiring speakers! Really enjoyed it. This will help me a great deal in my work with families . ” Lynn Teasdale, Barnardo's – February 2018
- “ I would like to thank Kate Cairns for a very interesting morning and I was impressed by her knowledge and method of explaining the whole Emotion Coaching concept. I will be using the knowledge gained in my working with people of all ages! ” Participant, Gourock – February 2018
- “ It was refreshing to attend a course where the speaker didn't waste time on pointless group activities. I was more than happy to spend the entire day listening to and benefiting from KC's tremendous knowledge, experience and insights. ” Participant, UK – January 2018
- “ This was such a nicely paced course bringing together attachment matters and the impact on education of those vulnerabilities that affect our children. It is particularly helpful that we can access materials to take away too, many thanks. ” Sue Connell, Wandsworth Council – January 2018
- “ One of the most inspiring courses I have been on. Both Liza and Kate are such engaging speakers, I left feeling inspired and uplifted. ” Joanne Rochester, Wandsworth – January 2018
- “ I have done quite a lot of private study on attachment, this study day had a slightly different perspective and was an excellent revision/consolodation experience. ” Marlene Pinnock, Charford First School – January 2018
- “ Kate's real life experiences are very powerful and moving. Really puts theory into practice. ” Participant, Hampshire – December 2017
- “ Very good training opportunity for anyone working in education. ” Participant, South Wales – September 2017
- “ Very real and pertinent to the work that we do. Powerful in its directness and ability to stimulate grounded reflection ” Participant, Durham – November 2016
- “ Just fabulous - have heard Kate talk previously and felt just as inspired and even more informed. Thank you. ” Participant, Leicester – October 2016
- “ Many of our children and families have attachment issues. I now have a better understanding of how important it is for the adult to be resilient. ” Judith Edwards, Kettering – October 2016
- “ Awesome - lovely balance between the why and the how. Clearly presented in a way that made it accessible yet informative. ” Lynette Lewington, Kettering – October 2016
- “ Brilliant, thank you. For years I have known that the caring approach is right for me but have battled against colleagues who have felt that children should conform and that spending time talking things through with children took up too much teaching time. I feel so inspired and can't wait to get back to school and persuade everyone that this is the way to go! Keep up the fantastic work, Felicia and Kate. ” Tracy Vials, East Midlands – October 2016
- “ I told my agency it was the best course I had ever been on. ” Participant, Wales – June 2016
- “ Fantastic presentation from a very knowledgeable, sparky presenter. On a personal level, a very inspiring character. On a professional level, a very useful, thought-provoking day. Lots of thinking to take back into school and share with the staff. ” James Brown, Bury – May 2016
- “ I found this training to be the most useful and engaging training. I have had a lot of experience and training about attachment and found this brought everything together in a way that gave me the most comprehensive knowledge and understanding in a way I feel able to pass on. ” Rona Barton, East Midlands – May 2016
- “ Exceptionally useful. Inspiring. Want to learn more. ” Cathy Draper, West Midlands – May 2016
- “ Excellent, inspiring delivery. Thank you very much. ” Emma Goy, Southend-on-sea – March 2016
- “ I really enjoyed this training and found it very inspiring... our children would really benefit from this as a whole school approach. ” Participant, Southend – March 2016
- “ The course was totally inspiring and I cannot think of anyway to improve it . ” Helen Watson, West Midlands – March 2016
- “ Just loved it! ” Siobhan Bullen, London – February 2016
- “ Please make it longer - love to listen to Kate, she is inspiring ” Kay Selwyn, Gloucestershire – February 2016
- “ The course content was delivered brilliantly. The information was really useful and delivered in a way that was understandable to everyone. ” Rebecca Ozyurt, Southend-on-Sea – January 2016
- “ Well delivered, charismatic. Huge insight and meaningful to my position ” Participant, Gloucestershire – January 2016