In this second article from Yorkshire Adoption Agency, Annie Redmond, Agency Director, shares with us the brilliant post-adoption support services they provide. They were awarded the Parliamentary Review Best Practice in Adoption representative status 2019 / 2020 for their services. You can read the Agency’s “Spotlight On” article here.
Lifelong support for adopted children and their families
Yorkshire Adoption Agency recognises that for many families, the placement of a child is just the start of another stage of a family’s journey. Therefore, following the making of an Adoption Order, the Agency maintains contact until the child is 18.
The Agency has worked hard to develop the training and support they offer. This includes an extended programme of post-placement training for adoptive parents and a range of individual therapeutic packages.
Inspired by new research and the difficulties some adoptive parents report in accessing post-adoption support, we are training staff as therapeutic practitioners allowing us to deliver therapeutic support packages to our families, and externally, on a commissioned basis.
Training for adopters
Integral to this, our new training package for adopters which is both pre and post-placement, is our REAL (Resilient, Empathetic, Accepting, Loving) parenting model.
REAL adoptive parenting is the Agency’s unique approach. The model focuses on the importance of adopters developing resilience. We believe the emotional resilience of adopters is key to the long-term success of adoptive placements.
Adopters attend a three-day course focusing on the need for parents to develop resilience through self-care and the development of an informed support network. The course explores the impact of trauma, loss, and identity not only in the context of social work theories such as attachment but by encouraging our adopters to draw on their own life experiences. It encompasses not only our in-house approach but also considers the principles of Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, and PACE.
The course also includes a ‘hands-on’ workshop, allowing adopters to practice their new skills.
Family and Friends service
We also offer training to our families support networks through our ‘Family and Friends’ service.
All this makes a real difference in helping children grow and thrive, and supports parents in meeting their children’s needs day by day and into the future.
The Agency is committed to the co-production of adoption support services with our families as we believe this is the best way to ensure our services meet their needs.
Our adopters have opted to develop an informal peer support network with a focus on building friendships and providing a “listening ear”, support and reassurance from the perspective of successful adopters. This service is also open to the friends and family of adopters to support the creation of an “adoption-friendly” environment. Our adopters tell us that this offer reinforces our vision of being members of a ‘small community extended family’ network of support.
Building on the success of our activities throughout 2019 (some of which are photographed below),
Pumpkin & Lantern party: Our Pumpkin & Lantern party took place on 26.10.19. The artwork produced by our children is amazing and is displayed throughout the building.
Christmas Party: The Agency Christmas party took place on 30.11.19.