Unlike most competency frameworks, which are linked to occupations and job roles in some way, the focus, structure, and use of attachment regulation and competency framework vary greatly depending on the types of organizations and stakeholders developing and using them. The most significant differences relate to the underlying values, goals, and objectives of the organizations and their stakeholder groups, as well as the specific contexts in which they are being used.
The ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency) model provides a flexible framework for intervention with children and youth who have experienced complex trauma and their caregiving systems. The model integrates normative childhood development, child and adolescent development, the impact of traumatic stress and attachment disruption, and factors promoting resilience. Specifically, the model addresses three core domains that are frequently impacted among youth who have been exposed to chronic and prolonged traumatic stress: attachment, regulation, and developmental competency (Arvidson et al., 2011; Blaustein & Kinniburgh, 2010).
Attachment Competency and Resilience: Navigating Life’s Challenges
An essential component of the ARC model is an understanding that young children’s sense of safety and understanding of their world revolves around their relationships with their caregivers. To ensure that these relationships are safe, therapists must first assess and address the child’s attachment pattern to build trust. Afterward, therapists must teach the child self-regulation and the skills they need to function in their environment. In addition, therapists must promote the child’s development by building their competencies in order to prepare them for the future. Ultimately, addressing a trauma-impacted child’s attachment, regulation and competency leads to better mental health outcomes and greater resilience in the face of adversity.