Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care

  • Grow therapeutic care environments that support a child’s recovery from adverse childhood experiences
  • Grow a common understanding, a common language, and a common approach
  • Grow confident and competent carers and support professionals
  • Grow independent problem-solving 
  • Grow service-wide fidelity and accountability

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is a comprehensive approach to the therapeutic care of children recovering from relational trauma and the promotion of trauma-informed out-of-home care services.

Triple-A incorporates two conceptual frameworks derived from psychological science:

  1. CARE* – an evidence informed framework for understanding how parenting impacts psychological outcomes for the developing child, and what constitutes a reparative care environment; and
  2. AAA** – an evidence-informed conceptual framework for understanding the impact of relational trauma during the developmental period on the psychological functioning of children and young people.

The two conceptual frameworks are translated into a five-step implementation methodology:

  1. For carers who are caring for children recovering from abuse and neglect (therapeutic care);
  2. For carers’ own self-care (therapeutic self-care); and
  3. For support professionals (being a Triple-A Practitioner); the latter facilitating carer implementation and fidelity to the Model.

There is a strengths focus. Triple-A validates and empowers carers, and professionals who support them. Additionally, there is a focus on the promotion of relational connections that are regulating and support trauma repair. Further, there is a focus on supporting an intentional, reflective approach to therapeutic re-parenting and the delivery of trauma-informed foster care support services, whereby foster carers and support foster care support workers are able to answer three key questions:

There are three training modules for Triple-A:

  1. Parent/caregiver training module (2.5 days)
  2. Triple-A Practitioner training module (2.5 days)
  3. Triple-A Train-the-Trainer Module (5 days – including ‘Practitioner’ training).

Triple-A training can be delivered to foster carers and social work/social care professionals jointly.

There are a number of ways that you can become part of the Triple-A practitioner community:

Triple-A is the preferred Model of Care for TUSLA (Child and Family Agency) foster carers in Co. Donegal, Ireland***, where it is in its sixth year of implementation with the support of 12 local trainers trained by Colby Pearce.

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is complemented by Connected Classrooms, a training program for supporting trauma-responsive practice in schools.

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic is a Programme of the CARE Curriculum, a comprehensive curricula for supporting trauma-responsive practice where people are recovering from a tough start to life.

Trauma-Responsive Practice

For more information about the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care, contact author, Colby Pearce, at or on the form below.

Contact Colby:


*Pearce, C (2016), A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder (Second Edition). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

**Pearce, C.M. (2010). An Integration of Theory, Science and Reflective Clinical Practice in the Care and Management of Attachment-Disordered Children – A Triple A Approach. Educational and Child Psychology (Special Issue on Attachment), 27 (3): 73-86

***Pearce, C & Gibson, J (2016), A Preliminary Evaluation of the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care, Foster, 2, 95-104

To access a range of free resources suitable for parents/carers, teachers and health/social care professionals, click the image below:

A straightforward guide to keeping things on track in the home during tough times. Includes printable worksheets – see preview below. 18pp

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