The policy and practice of family placement within the UK can be understood as the archetypal separation of a person from their physical environment, yet the inter section of ‘person with place’ – both past and present – has been argued to be crucial for identity formation. Indeed, intersectional analysts have called for alternative frame -works which challenge western models centering on the individual person disconnected from his or her community. An emerging body of work has drawn on Maori social work literature to explore the intersection of ‘person (identity) with place’ through an application to the concept of spirituality within western social work practice models. According to this perspective, people can have deep spiritual connections with the physical environment in which they live, creating a sense of belonging and attachment to that place. Victoria Sharley considers this Maori spiritual analysis in the context of family placement practice in the UK. In so doing, she offers a new way of thinking about the inter-relationship of cultural identity, place and spirituality as it affects the development of children separated from their birth families.