Centre for Adoption Support - Adoption Matters
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1120

people enrolled on one of our webinars (2021-22)

38

children attended our regular groups (2021-22)

136

families received support packages (2021-22)

54

sensory packages were delivered to families (2021-22)

29

RAMPS were delivered into schools (2021-22)

181

contracts were delivered by our Therapy service (2021-22)

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About Us
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the services we offer to families and professionals

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What families say about us

“My husband and I were incredibly apprehensive about this course. However, we did not need to be at all. The content and delivery were thorough and we have practised many elements that we learnt and it has been very beneficial to the parenting of our children. Thank you”

“Excellent staff who made for a great welcome and put 110% heart, emotion, knowledge and experience into their work”

“Very human in the way they acknowledged the difficulties we are experiencing. I felt understood”

“Applying this training has been life changing!”

“This is a very special place. Social workers really ‘get it’ and are non-judgemental. They are proactive and don’t wait for the family to be in crisis”.   

“After some friendly introductions and some vocal warm ups, we are transformed into Popstars within the hour! You can physically see the kids grow in confidence and self-esteem and parents let go and throw themselves into it”.   

“The work has been most beneficial. It has enabled me to judge situations with a much cooler head… I am able to handle extremely strong emotions in a much more controlled and safe way. Thank you… this work has changed me for the better”.  

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What professionals say about us

We have worked with over 100 Local Authorities across England through referrals to our service to work with families. Below are some quotes taken from our feedback forms sent to professionals who have worked with us:

“Useful, thought-provoking, insightful and child-focused training as always” 

“Really helpful course – CFAS are doing so much that we don’t always hear/know about on the teams” 

“Good service and can be sure of timely responses and proposals for work/contracts” 

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Our Ethos

We know every child is different. There is no 'one size' of support that fits all...

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Adoption Support News

Single adopters - bring a friend!

We understand the importance of having support, that’s why we allow our single adopters to bring a ‘plus one’ to all of our Centre for Adoption Support training courses, webinars and events free of charge.

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Music Matters

Find out more about our Music group for children and young people, meet the team and watch an amazing video.

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Supporting your children back to school during the pandemic

Our webinar for parents and schools around support children back to school during the pandemic using PACE.

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Laughing Kids Young people talk about adoption

This animation provides a great insight into what it is like to be adopted and aims to help prospective adopters understand better the needs and wants of adopted children.

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Theraplay Advent Calendar

Theraplay Advent Calendar created by Mary Kennedy, Tory Kerneen and Fiona Peacock. Theraplay is about strengthening parent-child relationships.

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Christmas hints, tips & advice for adopters

Christmas can be a difficult time for some of our children and families. We’ve got some Christmas tips and advice to help ease you through this sometimes difficult and often very busy time.

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Supporting your children back to school during Covid-19

Centre for Adoption Support present a webinar for parents and schools around support children back to school during the pandemic using PACE.

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Children's books that celebrate diversity

We work with children from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures and understand the importance of representing diversity positively to children from a young age. Below is a list of books that help to...

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Supporting your family during Covid-19

We know that many families may struggle over the coming weeks and the months ahead and appreciate that you will all be incredibly busy managing the impact of the ever changing situation and uncertainty around...

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LGBT Adoption Week Further funding to Adoption Support Fund welcomed

Adoption Matters are delighted with the announcement that adoptive families and special guardians are set to benefit from a welcome extension to the Adoption Support Fund.

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Changes to the Centre for Adoption Support

As part of an internal restructure, Caritas Care has taken the decision to separate from the CfAS partnership and develop its own Adoption Support Service

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Navigating Adoption Support Conference

On 28 March 2019, we held our first one day conference exploring adoption research and adoption support in partnership with the University of Chester.

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A TASTE OF WHAT WE OFFER...

Adoption Matters

Consultations Free to AM families

Groups

Inner World Group Free to AM families exclusively

Moo Music Free to AM families exclusively

Buddy Support Group Free to AM families exclusively

Adopted Adult Support Group Available to all adult adoptees

Connecting Through Play Paid course via Adoption Support Fund

CfAS Choir Free to AM families

Music Matters Free to families working with CfAS

Webinars

Sensory Processing Recommended for all stages of adoption

You and Your Support Network Recommended for prospective adopters in Stage 2

Brain to Brain: Parenting with PACE principles Recommended for post-adoption families with some knowledge of PACE principles

Lifestory: Making sense of the past Recommended for all stages of adoption (but priority may be made for post-adoption families)

Attachment and Play Recommended for prospective adopters in Stage 2 as well as adopters in the very early stages of their post adoption journey

Resilience Recommended for all stages of adoption

Managing Challenging Behaviour: Understanding child to parent violence and aggression Recommended for post-adoption families experiencing difficulties with child to parent violence

Self-Esteem and Well-being Recommended for all adoption stages

Parenting Siblings Recommended for all stages of adoption

Parenting Teenage Children Recommended for post-adoption families with teenage children

Nurtured Heart Recommended for all stages of adoption

Attachment and Education Recommended for all stages of adoption

Therapeutic Support Packages

Sensory Packages

Dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP) informed therapeutic parenting sessions

Therapeutic parenting sessions

Filial therapy

Therapeutic lifestory work

Theraplay

Video interactive guidance (VIG)

Support in Schools

Reducing anxiety management plan (RAMP)

Attachment and trauma school training

Nurtured heart approach in school

Using theraplay as a whole school approach

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Consultations

Free to AM families

CfAS consultations are an opportunity for parents/care-givers to meet with a Therapeutic Social Worker to explore the challenges that they are facing in relation to adoption. The discussed content of the session will be specifically tailored to explore the child and family’s specific support needs. The Social Worker will consider, with the family, the potential impact of parenting a traumatised child on the parents’ wellbeing. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own self-care strategies and support network. Families are encouraged to identify priority needs and to shape a plan for any identified ongoing support.

These sessions are available free to Adoption Matters families, please speak to your Adoption Matters Social Worker to make a referral or contact us at info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Inner World Group

Free to AM families exclusively

Our Inner World Group is free to Adoption Matters families exclusively. This 8 week group aims to offer teenagers the space to reflect upon their own unique inner signals and interpret what they mean, whilst simultaneously learning body-based regulation skills that allow them to connect to and care for themselves. In order to regulate our emotions, we must have the ability to recognise what we are feeling inside our body and what these inner signals mean to us. By learning how to notice our internal climate, the fluctuations and signals that the body sends us, we have the opportunity to be more in charge of our responses to those signals. These supported group sessions will achieve this by offering a range of mindful and creative practices, shared together to provide experiential and reflective learning.

Spaces are extremely limited on this group. Please contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org to register your interest.

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Moo Music

Free to AM families exclusively

Moo Music is an established and trusted children’s group that used music to inspire development. We are really proud to be able to offer our Adoption Matters families the opportunity to join this popular music group for younger children age 0-8 years. The group will be held virtually over 6 consecutive weeks and will involve some nice repetitive songs that the children can learn throughout the different themes. Further information about the group can be found on the Moo Music website: https://www.moo-music.co.uk/.

Spaces are extremely limited on this group. Please contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org to register your interest.

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Buddy Support Group

Free to AM families exclusively

Our Buddy Mentoring Scheme is designed to support our Adoption Matters families by linking them with experienced, like-minded adopters who can provide peer support throughout their journey with adoption.

A part of this service is to hold regular online meetings that all Adoption Matters families can attend (you do not need to be a mentor/mentee). This group is chaired by a Social Worker alongside Buddy Mentors and provides an opportunity to be in a group environment with other adoptive families. Participation is not required if you’d just like to listen in. Book your place on the next group via our website event page.

Buddy meetings are listed on our events page, you can register your interest directly through the website. If you wish to explore the mentorship scheme then please talk to your Adoption Matters Social Worker.

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Adopted Adult Support Group

Available to all adult adoptees

ADOPTION CONNECTIONS NORTHWEST is a peer support group of adopted adults who meet once a month online to listen, share experiences of being adopted, exchange support and discuss ideas. The group meetings are chaired by volunteer adopted adults. Participation is not required if you’d just like to listen in. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 19:30, to register on this group please contact postadoption@adoptionmatters.org.

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Connecting Through Play

Paid course via Adoption Support Fund

Connecting Through Play is our new course offering that can be funded via the Adoption Support Fund. This adoptive parents’ group is focused on promoting and enhancing participants’ therapeutic parenting skills and confidence through harnessing the healing power of play. It will demonstrate how to positively notice and amplify moments of connected playfulness to increase overall harmony within the parent and child relationship. There is also an emphasis on recognising and noticing strengths and skills both individually and collectively within the group.

There are 8 group sessions in total; 6 fortnightly sessions, with 2 further review sessions (convened 1 month and 3 months respectively). The dates are scheduled in advance and we ask that you are available for all of these to get the most from the course.

Please contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for further information.

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CfAS Choir

Free to AM families

The CfAS choir was established in 2016 and is formed from members who are adopted, have adopted siblings or have parents in the profession. All choir members were encouraged to play as big a role as they wished and all children thrived within this supportive and encouraging environment.

“I had forgotten the value of singing and its benefits. More importantly, I had forgotten just how supportive it feels to be with people who accept you and your child for who they are and have so much invested in your happiness & wellbeing. It’s like having your own cheer leading team. Thank you CFAS” A parent who attended the choir with their child.

Although the choir is free for Adoption Matters families, families from other agencies are welcome to join for a small cost. We are looking at how to re-start this group as we emerge from pandemic restrictions, further updates to follow.

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Music Matters

Free to families working with CfAS

Music Matters is a fantastic music group for children and young people aged from 5 to 25 years, delivered by our Centre for Adoption Support in partnership with Plugged in. Membership is free of charge to all Adoption Matters families and families who are commissioned to work with us by their LA/RAA. During Covid-19, we have switched to offering the group online so there has been no interruption to the fantastic opportunity this provides to the children.

Please see our dedicated page to view the video and meet the team!

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Sensory Processing

Recommended for all stages of adoption

Our Sensory Support packages are very popular and this webinar is an excellent introduction into Sensory Processing. The term ‘sensory processing issues’ refers to difficulties managing information that comes through the senses. These issues, sometimes called sensory processing disorder or sensory integration disorder, can have a big impact on the learning and on everyday life of the child.

We explore two types of sensory processing challenges; over sensitivity (hypersensitivity), which leads to sensory avoiding and under sensitivity (hyposensitivity), which causes children to be sensory seeking. We would love to see you at this workshop, where you will receive expert advice and experienced parental insights, strategies to use at home, and information on best support for your child at school. This workshop will be presented by an Occupational Therapist from the Centre for Adoption Support and will feature opportunities to share experiences with other adoptive parents.

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You and Your Support Network

Recommended for prospective adopters in Stage 2

This is the only webinar that we offer where we request that both adopters and their support networks always attend together. We understand that many adopted children can face challenges as a result of early life experiences and sometimes, children, their families, schools and all those around them need help to understand and meet those challenges.

You and Your Support Network is a webinar workshop of 2.5 hours for adopters and people from their support network to meet with our team and discuss the attachment cycle, the affect on the child’s Inner Working Model of good attachment experiences, poor attachment experiences, the losses for adopted children, guidance and practical advice for family and friends when the child is placed.

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Brain to Brain: Parenting with PACE principles

Recommended for post-adoption families with some knowledge of PACE principles

PACE stands for a way of being with your child, which is informed by our understanding of the importance of the qualities of Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. The aim of using a PACE parenting approach is to help your child to be able to trust you, and for you to feel more confident in helping your child to understand their past and current experiences better. The aim of this webinar is to deepen your understanding of Dan Hughes’ PACE parenting approach. We will explore the four elements of PACE in detail to increase your understanding and confidence in using this approach.

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Lifestory: Making sense of the past

Recommended for all stages of adoption (but priority may be made for post-adoption families)

Talking about adoption is a task that every adoptive parent encounters. Lifestory work is a social work intervention with children and adults designed to recognise their past, present, and future. The aim of this webinar is to consider the significance for children of family history in having an understanding of who they are and how they have come to be where they are.

We explore the challenges of sharing – and what may be for some – very difficult information about your child’s family of origin and their time spent in the care system and look at your child’s growing levels of understanding as they get older. Together we aim to achieve ways of making this difficult task possible.

Please see our events page to book your place on the next webinar or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Attachment and Play

Recommended for prospective adopters in Stage 2 as well as adopters in the very early stages of their post adoption journey

Play is crucial to building attachment, connection and attunement between the adoptive parent and child in the early weeks, months and years of placement. This webinar considers some theories around play and child development from an attachment and trauma informed perspective, and examines how play may be used to support children who may need help in trusting in and/or accepting the availability of their care giver. We briefly explore play strategies and activities that might help boost being in the moment with your child/children, as well as recognising your own play preferences too. By thinking about how you can meet your child in a less resistant part of their brain, it will help both adopter and adoptive child to begin to learn about and get to know each other.

Please see our events page to book your place on the next webinar or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Resilience

Recommended for all stages of adoption

This webinar explores the concept of resilience; what it is and what it is not. It considers the connection between early trauma and a child’s capacity for resilience and suggest practical ways to increase a child’s ability to remain calm in chaos, and move on from the incident without long-term negative consequences.

The webinar is presented by Therapeutic Social Workers and provides the opportunity for you to share experiences with other adoptive parents. This workshop will be presented by two therapeutic social workers from the Centre for Adoption Support and will feature opportunities to share experiences with other adoptive parents.

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Managing Challenging Behaviour: Understanding child to parent violence and aggression

Recommended for post-adoption families experiencing difficulties with child to parent violence

We are aware that for many families child to parent violence is a significant issue and we know this to be a particularly difficult aspect to manage within family life.

Child to parent violence is any behaviour used by a young person to control, dominate or coerce their parents. It can be intended to threaten and intimidate and can put family safety at risk. Whilst it is normal for adolescents to demonstrate healthy anger, conflict and frustration drawing their transition from childhood to adulthood, anger should not be confused with violence. Violence is about a range of behaviours including non-physical acts aimed at achieving ongoing control over another person by instilling fear. In this webinar we acknowledge the challenges together and look at ways of managing, living with and reducing aggression within the family home.

Please see our events page to book your place on the next webinar or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Self-Esteem and Well-being

Recommended for all adoption stages

This webinar has been developed to explore what shame is and how if affects us. We will look at the impact of early trauma on a child’s sense of (toxic) shame and discuss strategies to increase their shame resilience. We concentrate on understanding the differences between shame and guilt and how shame ultimately impacts our survival responses. The aim of this webinar is to help you explore the behaviour in a wider context – when the time is right – in order to limit shame and boost worthiness. There are many opportunities for you to ask questions and talk about your experiences with other adopters during this webinar.

Please see our events page to book your place on the next webinar or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Parenting Siblings

Recommended for all stages of adoption

One of the greatest challenges of parenting is raising siblings; studies have shown that sibling rivalry is the second leading cause of distress and concern among parents, first being behaviour problems, which are often difficult to separate from sibling rivalry. Parents not only have to find ways to let each child know they are special and loved, but they also need to help them learn how to share and cooperate. In this webinar, we discuss the joys and challenges of parenting siblings and how therapeutic parenting strategies may be adapted for families adopting more than one child.

At CfAS we understand that sibling rivalry is of major concern to parents for many reasons; not only does it add stress to family life, but it can leave parents feeling incompetent about their parenting abilities. The webinar will focus on the need for self-care and how this enhances parents’ ability to use therapeutic strategies to see each child as a whole, focusing on their strengths and promoting healthy reciprocal relationships.

Please see our events page to book your place on the next webinar or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Parenting Teenage Children

Recommended for post-adoption families with teenage children

We recognise that parenting adopted teenagers often increases the complex demands, and so this webinar explores identity development, the way a teenage brain functions, and how the brain of a teenager who has experienced early loss and trauma will function. Many families find communicating with teenagers a challenge, however when the added complication of being adopted is present, parents do benefit from being able to increase their own knowledge base to better set the tone for openness.

The aim will be to equip adoptive parents with an increased understanding of the presenting behaviour, to provide strategies based on the work of Dan Hughes and the Nurtured Heart approach, to enable them to therapeutically parent teenagers who are increasingly curious about their life and their place within their adoptive and birth family. It is also hoped that families attending will have the opportunity of meeting with other parents living through similar challenges and together puzzling it out and making sense of their children’s world. Supporting families at this stage of their parenting enables them to stay present with their children, acknowledge their confusion and to respect their place in families.

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Nurtured Heart

Recommended for all stages of adoption

The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA) is a relationship-focused parenting approach which was originally developed to help children whose behaviour challenges adults (‘intense’ behaviour in the NHA), but is now being used to help all children and adults to use their intensity in successful ways.

This webinar is hosted by accredited NHA trainers with the aim of inspiring and informing you on how to successfully transform challenging and intense behaviour, whilst putting you back in control of your relationship with the children you live or work with. This webinar offers an introduction to those new to the subject, or a refresher to those who may have accessed training in unique approach before.

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Attachment and Education

Recommended for all stages of adoption

Understanding why adopted children find school days such a challenge is invaluable if we are to help them succeed in large social settings and in turn to access learning. This webinar provides the opportunity for professionals and parents to increase their understanding of children’s behaviour as well as having a greater awareness of the role each performs in a child’s emotional wellbeing. We share the principles of attachment and will assist attendees in better understanding why children who have experienced early trauma may function in school settings and how they are best supported. The aim is to ensure that all children can access learning and be better understood, to have better life outcomes and be able to manage social settings and multiple relationships.

All attendees will leave the day with a better insight into the demands of each other and learn why as adults they need to provide a consistent approach and implement the principles of an Attachment friendly model and not rigidly follow a behaviourist approach. You will have the opportunity to complete a Reducing Anxiety Management Plan (RAMP) and populate an individual plan for an adopted child.

Please see our events page to book your place on the next webinar or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org.

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Sensory Packages

The Sensory Processing webinar is an excellent introduction to this support package.

There are different sensory packages available;

MODULATION: A Sensory Modulation package aims to explore the sensory processing challenges that a child may be experiencing and help families and significant adults make useful changes to the environment, and engage in activities, that can help to modulate sensory responses. The aim is to positively impact on emotional and behavioural responses. This package provides the underpinning knowledge and strategies to help a child with sensory modulation issues, the most common sensory challenge, helping to improve their functioning at both home and school. A report is provided with advice and guidance that is written in an “easy to read” manner, so that any significant adult e.g. parent, teacher, teaching assistant, relative can access the information needed to support the child.

INTERVENTION: Children who have experienced early trauma and attachment disruption often have not had the same exposure to a conducive environment and/or the opportunities and stimulation required for adequate development of movement patterns and sensory development. This can result in underdeveloped foundation sensory systems; namely the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems (Lloyd, 2020). This Sensory Intervention package aims to revisit early movement and sensory experiences to rebuild their foundation sensory system, thus providing a more stable base for further sensory, physical, emotional and intellectual development.

Funding for these support packages are available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us

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Dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP) informed therapeutic parenting sessions

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) is based on and brings together attachment theory, understanding about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, inter-subjectivity theory and child development. Central within DDP is the PACE model; a parenting approach which deepens the emotional connections in our relationship with others.

Adopted children may find it hard to trust adults. They may believe that parents aren’t safe and can’t always be turned to for comfort and help. They may develop insecure attachments and try to stop their parents from becoming emotionally close to them. DDP sessions help children learn to trust and accept comfort. It is family-based and involves the child with his or her parents.

Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Therapeutic parenting sessions

Therapeutic Parenting Sessions are an opportunity for families and to meet with a therapeutic social worker on a one to one basis to explore the challenges that they are facing in relation to adoption. The discussion content of the sessions will be specifically tailored to explore the child and family’s support needs.

Practitioners at CfAS are experienced, skilled Therapeutic Social Workers trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches, including; Dan Hughes’ Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Theraplay, VIPP-SD (Video Interactive Parenting Programme) and the Nurtured Heart® Approach. The initial session aims to increase parents understanding and knowledge of attachment behaviours and the long term effects of early trauma through psycho education and an exploration of therapeutic parenting strategies. Further sessions are aimed to increase the adopter’s confidence and understanding of the impact of early trauma on child development, as well as explore a range of strategies that have been proven useful in reducing children’s levels of anxiety and associated challenging behaviours.

Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Filial therapy

Filial therapy is an evidence-based practice, where the parent learns child-centred therapeutic reflective skills to have special play session with their child/ren at home, creating a non-judgmental and accepting understanding relationship. Based on the principle that parents are the most important people in their child’s healing and development, filial therapy gives them the skills necessary to become the therapeutic facilitators of change.

It is an in depth structured piece of therapeutic work in three parts; initial meetings and skills development, practice play sessions with the child [with therapist feedback] and lastly the continuation of special play session in the family home and generalisation of skills. The training process involves weekly meetings over a period of approx. 4-6 months. Clearly all this demands time commitment from parents. An initial assessment is therefore crucial in informing the family about Filial

Therapy, ascertaining the family’s wishes and needs and if they feel they are able to commit fully to the work.
Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Therapeutic lifestory work

Therapeutic life story work provides an opportunity for a professional to assist in sharing information about their early life history with the child/ren. There will be occasions when sessions will be offered directly to the child and/or parents. The purpose of this work is to allow the child to increase their understanding of the information contained within their Life Story book which is often completed on behalf of the child and not with them.

Providing children with the opportunity to revisit the facts in a sensitive manner will allow the child to wonder about why certain decisions were made, to wonder about how they might have felt at the time, how they feel now and how some of these feelings can be managed in daily life. This works provides the safe opportunity for the child to be curious and to be provided with information that helps make sense of the place they are at. It provides the opportunity to consider why certain decisions were reached and why the subsequent action took place while holding in mind the emotional impact of all. We would use a range of materials during the course of this work and would make this age specific while also attempting the connect with an area of interest for the child.

Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Theraplay

Theraplay® is a child and family intervention for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, and trust between child and parent by seeking to provide an experience of safety, social engagement, regulation and security. Theraplay draws on a wide variety of simple activities to promote connections between parent and child. Theraplay is play-based rather than language-based so can also be suitable for very young children as it involves interactive, playful activities involving all of the senses, including rhythm movement and touch. It is a model that focuses on the ‘here and now‘ experience.

Children at any age can benefit from Theraplay. Those who are withdrawn, passive children who are overactive or aggressive, children on the autism spectrum and those who are afraid of relating or attaching because of losses or trauma can be helped by Theraplay. Theraplay developed its model by considering patterns of interaction found in healthy, secure parent-child and promotes attunement between parent and child to develop positive ways of relating and provides opportunities to revisit early emotional stages that the child may have missed.

Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Video interactive guidance (VIG)

Video interaction guidance is an intervention where the client is guided to reflect on video clips of their own successful interactions. The process begins by helping the family or professional to negotiate their own goals and then adult-child interactions are then filmed, edited, and a short film is produced that focuses on a micro-analysis of successful moments. Particular attention is paid to those when the adult has responded in an attuned way to the child’s action or initiative using a combination of non-verbal and verbal responses. These reflections move very quickly from analysis of the behaviour to the exploration of feelings, thoughts, wishes and intentions.

The approach takes the view that change can be achieved more effectively in the context of a ‘coaching’ relationship than a didactic ‘teaching’ relationship, because it is collaborative rather than prescriptive, empowering rather than de-skilling. It conveys respect for strengths and potential, rather than drawing attention to problems or weaknesses. Throughout filming and review sessions, clients are supported to become more sensitive to children’s communicative attempts and to develop greater awareness of how they can respond in an attuned way. In the process of standing back and looking at themselves on screen, parents are able to analyse what they were doing when things were going ’better than usual’. In this way they are empowered to make an informed decision about how they would like to improve situations that are more problematic.
The use of the video is also of central importance both as a focus for client and guider to construct new possibilities and as a trigger for revealing intuitive feelings which can be the key to lasting change. In this way they can grow in an organic way into their new way of being without having to consciously remember and put in place new skills. There is a deeper level of healing that can take place when relationships are restored, allowing further positive changes to occur naturally.

Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Reducing anxiety management plan (RAMP)

The Reducing Anxiety Management Plan is a useful tool that CfAS use to help schools support children who find it more difficult to self-regulate. The children may possibly be struggling with peer relationships, and may be emotionally and behaviourally younger than their chronological age as a result of early experiences of trauma and abuse.

The main purpose for completing a Reducing Anxiety Management Plan is often to capture all of the understanding and knowledge that parents and school staff have developed about a child’s different levels of anxiety, as well as the different strategies they have found useful in helping them to calm down when anxious, and to share all this understanding with others in the school. An added bonus of the Reducing Anxiety Management Plan is that it tends to improve or strengthen the relationships between home and school.

Funding for this support package is available via the Adoption Support Fund, please speak to your local authority social worker for them to make a referral to us, or contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Attachment and trauma school training

Training on Attachment and Trauma is provided for school staff within their own school. This popular training enables the whole staff group to access information about Attachment and the Impact of Early Trauma. Where possible this service is provided at the end of the school day, or during inset days, and enables the whole staff group to access the training. We can also offer this training virtually.

The training consists of a combination of theory and practical strategies with the aim of helping staff understand the effects of early trauma, loss and attachment difficulties as well as evidence-informed practical strategies to support children within the school environment.

Please contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Nurtured heart approach in school

The Nurtured Heart Approach ® (NHA) is a relationship-focused methodology that has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success. The essence of NHA is a set of core methodologies originally developed for working with the most difficult children. It has a proven impact on every child, including those who are challenged behaviourally social and academically.

The training is aimed at people who wish to learn about the Nurtured Heart Approach® at an entry level and seeks to inspire and inform you how to successfully transform challenging and intense behaviour in the classroom whilst putting you back in control.

The training is delivered as follows:

  1. A presentation with the opportunity for Q&A on the Nurtured Heart Approach® – (1 hour)
  2. Modelling the Nurtured Heart Approach® in the classroom, in the playground or with staff (as an experiential approach) – (1 hour)
  3. Introduction to the Nurtured Heart Approach® concept across the school— Greatness concepts such as Greatness Cards, Greatness Spies, Greatness Assemblies, Greatness Charts – (1 hour)
  4. Reflective therapeutic consultation to help staff embed the Nurtured Heart Approach® or if they have particular issues to explore or problems to resolve – (1 hour)

Please contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Using theraplay as a whole school approach

Using Theraplay as a Whole School Approach is designed to build upon the knowledge gained in the Attachment and Trauma school training delivered by CfAS. It focuses on improving attachments, self-esteem and trust in the relationship between adult and child, and child to child, in the school setting, while teaching techniques that can be used with pupils in a classroom setting. Where possible this service is provided at the end of the school day, or during inset days, and enables the whole staff group to access the training. We can also offer this training virtually. The training builds on the knowledge gained in the School Attachment and Trauma module also delivered by the Centre for Adoption Support.

There are many positive benefits of using Theraplay in Schools namely that it:

  • Is consistent with the social-emotional curriculum, helping children settle and teaching self-regulation.
  • Creates warm, positive relationships.
  • Builds resilient classrooms.
  • Teaches children to better able to tolerate frustration and/or ask for help.
  • Encourages peer teaching and sharing which leads to smoother running classrooms.
  • Builds social communication skills and is good for children with various special needs, identified or not.

Please contact info@centreforadoptionsupport.org for more information.

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Latest Events
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Theraplay Taster Session in Durham at 11 August 2022 at 10-11:30am

Thu 11

Aug

Theraplay Taster Session – North East – Approved Adoption Matters Families Only

We are hosting Theraplay Taster Sessions this summer, open to all approved Adoption Matters families who live in the North East, all sessions are free of charge to attend. The sessions are run by our experienced Play Therapist with support from our Social Work Assistant at our North East office in Durham.

Wed 7

Sep

Webinar – You and Your Support Network

You and Your Support Network is a webinar workshop of 2 hours for adopters and people from their family and friends support network.

Wed 14

Sep

Webinar – Connecting Through Play

Connecting through Play is a time limited adoptive parents course designed for families who have a child, or children, placed with them.

This course is now part of Adoption Matters Centre for Adoption Support's core offer to our families and will consist of five two hour sessions held fortnightly during school term time. The course is evaluated and progression is monitored through information gleaned from the individual shared reviews with the parents. Attendees will also be asked to complete a 'Strength and Difficulties' questionnaire at the beginning and end of the group.

The course explores and understands why play is important for making and enhancing connections between parent and child and it aims to promote and positively notice moments of shared fun and attunement.

Fri 16

Sep

Webinar – Understanding and Managing Child to Parent Violence and Aggression

In this two hours workshop we will explore the phenomenon known as Child to Parent Violence and Aggression (CPVA).

CPVA can take different forms, including verbal aggression, behaviour than might feel like bullying and controlling behaviours, as well as physical aggression and violence.

CPVA can occur at any age in childhood and affects many more families than people may realise.

Thu 29

Sep

Webinar – Sensory Processing

Our Sensory Support packages are very popular and this webinar is an excellent introduction into Sensory Processing.

We explore two types of sensory processing challenges; over sensitivity (hypersensitivity), which leads to sensory avoiding and under sensitivity (hyposensitivity), which causes children to be sensory seeking.

You will receive expert advice and experienced parental insights, strategies to use at home, and information on best support for your child at school.

Attachment and Education webinar on 07 October 2022 at 10am

Fri 7

Oct

Webinar – Attachment and Education

Understanding why adopted children find school days such a challenge is invaluable if we are to help them succeed in large social settings and in turn to access learning.

This webinar provides the opportunity for professionals and parents to increase their understanding of children’s behaviour as well as having a greater awareness of the role each performs in a child’s emotional wellbeing.

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OUR SERVICES
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For families

RAAs / LA

Education Professionals

For families

We know that learning is an on-going process for all parents and especially for adoptive parents. We understand that many adopted children can face challenges as a result of early life experiences and sometimes, children, their families, schools and all those around them need help to understand and meet those challenges. Our experienced team will work with you, and if appropriate your local authority, to identify the best support for your family at your point of need at whatever age or stage.

Our full list of training events and workshops is available to view on our Events page. Our training programme is ever changing to meet the needs and demands of our adoptive families and we would welcome your suggestions for future workshops.

An overview of what we currently offer includes:

  • Reflective Therapeutic Consultations, a member of our CfAS team will meet with you to discuss your support needs
  • Direct work with families and individuals including Therapeutic Parenting Sessions, Sensory Support and Video Interaction Guidance
  • Support for children in the school setting (specialist services to schools)
  • Training courses/webinars: Nurtured Heart Approach, Therapeutic Parenting, Theraplay, Life Story Workshops, Sensory Workshops, Child to Parent Violence & Aggression (CPVA), Parenting Siblings and Parenting Teenagers and many more.
  • Peer support including activity days and events; drama, children and young people choir etc.
  • Family support services / buddying / groups such as Stay and Play
  • Adopted adult groups
  • Referral (where appropriate) to our Therapy Service led by a Clinical Psychologist

Our webinars are free of charge for Adoption Matters families and Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) families that are currently receiving support from the Centre for Adoption Support. If you are an adopter, special guardian, foster carer from a different agency or a family member or friend of an adoptive family, the cost to attend our webinars is £15 per person.

We know that today families today come in all shapes and sizes, but we understand that it can sometimes be daunting to attend a new event alone. That’s why we allow all of our single parents to bring a ‘plus one’ to all of our Centre for Adoption Support training courses, webinars and events free of charge.

All of our packages of therapeutic support to families fall within the remit of the Adoption Support Fund (ASF). The ASF can be used to fund specialist therapeutic support for your family. You will need an assessment of your support needs carried out by your local authority to access the fund. The assessment will indicate which support services are likely to be the most helpful. We have worked with many local authorities in ensuring that this process runs as smoothly as possible.

Remember to look at the adoption support passport here that outlines support adopters in England may be entitled to.

Your local authority may then carry out an Assessment of Adoption Support Needs. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, the local authority may be able to meet these needs through their own core services or may commission our service to provide training, support or therapeutic services.

If you have any queries about our range of services, please complete our enquiry form here or contact us on Tel: 01925 534 118 or Email: info@centreforadoptionsupport.org

RAAs / LA

We know that learning is an on-going process for all parents and especially for adoptive parents. We understand that many adopted children can face challenges as a result of early life experiences and sometimes, children, their families, schools and all those around them need help to understand and meet those challenges. Our experienced team will work with you, and if appropriate your local authority, to identify the best support for your family at your point of need at whatever age or stage.

Our full list of training events and workshops is available to view on our Events page. Our training programme is ever changing to meet the needs and demands of our adoptive families and we would welcome your suggestions for future workshops.

An overview of what we currently offer includes:

  • Reflective Therapeutic Consultations, a member of our CfAS team will meet with you to discuss your support needs
  • Direct work with families and individuals including Therapeutic Parenting Sessions, Sensory Support and Video Interaction Guidance
  • Support for children in the school setting (specialist services to schools)
  • Training courses/webinars: Nurtured Heart Approach, Therapeutic Parenting, Theraplay, Life Story Workshops, Sensory Workshops, Child to Parent Violence & Aggression (CPVA), Parenting Siblings and Parenting Teenagers and many more.
  • Peer support including activity days and events; drama, children and young people choir etc.
  • Family support services / buddying / groups such as Stay and Play
  • Adopted adult groups
  • Referral (where appropriate) to our Therapy Service led by a Clinical Psychologist

Our webinars are free of charge for Adoption Matters families and Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) families that are currently receiving support from the Centre for Adoption Support. If you are an adopter, special guardian, foster carer from a different agency or a family member or friend of an adoptive family, the cost to attend our webinars is £15 per person

All of our packages of therapeutic support to families fall within the remit of the Adoption Support Fund (ASF). The ASF can be used to fund specialist therapeutic support for your family. You will need an assessment of your support needs carried out by your local authority to access the fund. The assessment will indicate which support services are likely to be the most helpful. We have worked with many local authorities in ensuring that this process runs as smoothly as possible.

Our training programme is ever changing to meet the needs and demands of our adoptive families and can be found on our events page

Most of our services fall under the remit of the Adoption Support Fund and we can assist with applications by providing helpful descriptors of our support packages and detailed costings.

If you have any queries about our range of services, please complete our enquiry form here or contact us on Tel: 01925 534 118 or Email: info@centreforadoptionsupport.org

Education Professionals

Here at the Centre for Adoption Support we recognise that many of the children and young people who are growing up in adoptive families have complex physical, emotional, developmental and educational needs. Research indicates that a growing number of children and young people demonstrate emotional and behavioural needs that go beyond the strategies learnt via professional training and experience. The rich information that we have gathered as a service has enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges that some adopted children face in the education setting.

We have facilitated training into nurseries, schools and colleges with the aim creating an ‘attachment and trauma aware’ community, so as children and young people experience the nurturing environments that they need to develop, grow and achieve.

We have extended our accumulated learning to many caring professionals within educational settings, so increasing their levels of confidence and understanding. Professionals have fed back how much they have valued the training and personal development which has had numerous benefits, for not only the families and children that they work so hard to support, but also for the staff themselves feeling valued and enabling them to move forward to the next level as a team.

Our ‘Attachment and the Impact of Early Trauma Training’ has reached approximately 90 schools and colleges, with the number of attendees ranging from small teams to groups of 80 plus staff.  Additionally we have facilitated numerous Reduced Anxiety Management Plans (RAMPS) into schools and colleges.

We have extended our training to workplaces and higher education settings recognising that the experiences of childhood trauma may continue to have an impact as young people embark on their careers and/or into further education.
All of our training to education settings is available to view on our events page.

For information about our full range of training available and a quotation, just fill in our enquiry form here or contact us on Tel: 01925 534 118 or Email: info@centreforadoptionsupport.org

VOLUNTEER FOR US

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Volunteering can make a real difference to your own life and the lives of those around you. If you think you have a skills, experience or some availability that could benefit our Centre for Adoption Support, we’d love to hear from you.

Volunteering also has many added benefits – these include:

  • meeting new people and making new friends
  • a chance to socialise
  • getting to know the local community
  • gaining new skills, knowledge and experience
  • using one’s professional skills and knowledge to benefit others

The work of  the Centre for Adoption Support is further enhanced and enriched by the support provided by our amazing team of adopter volunteers. Adopters share time and time again just how much they value the support received from their peers

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Sponsorship of one of our Children's Groups

We offer a variety of groups and workshops to children including a children and young people’s choir, activity days out, musical groups.  If you are a company who could offer any sponsorship to further our activities we would love to hear from you. Contact us at info@centreforadoptionsupport.org 

Buddy Group

Our Buddy service comprises of a group of volunteer adoptive parents who have built up a wealth of experience and learning as adoptive parents and are able to understand and relate to both the joys and challenges. They have all accessed extensive training on attachment and trauma related issues and are committed to sharing their learning.  The Buddy service is facilitated by an assessing social worker and a therapeutic social worker to ensure that the support offered is tailored to each family’s individual needs.

We offer friendly, informal and confidential drop in sessions for Adoption Matters adopters at all stages of their journey. Within the sessions they can meet other adopters and experienced adopter ‘buddies’ in a safe and nurturing environment. The sessions offer the opportunity to explore and learn more about positive parenting strategies in an informal setting, together with people who are actively using these strategies in real life.

“I wanted an opportunity to discuss problems unique to our family circumstances with someone who understood why and how our children were different,” – an Adopter who attended a buddy session.

If you would like to learn more about how to volunteer as a buddy or arrange to speak to a buddy for support, please email: info@centreforadoptionsupport.org

Helping out at one of our events

From assisting at our peer support groups to helping out at our children’s choir, get in touch with us for more information, please email: info@centreforadoptionsupport.org

THERAPY SERVICES
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It is recognised that working with children and young people that have experienced early trauma requires specialist knowledge and expertise. Parenting such children can also present challenges and require significant emotional resilience. In order to support and facilitate change, our therapy service provides evidence based interventions that best meet the needs of adopted children and their families. We also can work with Special Guardianship Order (SGO) families, Looked After Children and foster carers.

Our Therapy Service provides a personalised therapeutic intervention based on a structured assessment. All of our therapy services are covered by the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) and we will guide you and your placing Local Authority with their submission to the ASF.

From the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, our therapy service delivered 239 contracts offering a range of therapeutic interventions for children and families.

In addition to this they also delivered 74 Covid support packages to families. The service also saw an unprecedented rise in the need for therapy during Covid-19 and the team of 25 therapists continued to work, often face to face, with high crisis cases, throughout pandemic and lockdown periods.

Our therapists worked hard on developing therapeutic services that could be delivered online and feedback from
families is that the online support has been helpful and supportive. The service also set up mindfulness groups for
adopters which has helped maintain their psychological well-being and emotional resilience and they also plan to
offer Nurturing Attachments groups in the near future.

Approaches include:

  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
  • Theraplay
  • Child Psychotherapy
  • Video Interactive Guidance (VIG)
  • Filial Play Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Dealing with aggression and behavioural challenge, including Non violent resistance (NVR) and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI)
  • Mindfulness
  • Working with schools

The approaches incorporate developments in neuropsychology, brain development and sensory integration.

We can provide a wide range of therapists across the North West, Staffordshire and North East Wales. All have specialist skills and experience of working with adopted children and their families.

About our therapy services
Our assessment

Assessments are conducted by a clinical psychologist and will cover all aspects of a child’s life. This will include sessions with parents, the child, school and other professionals as appropriate. The assessment will provide clear recommendations regarding a way forward.

Effectiveness

A key feature of the therapy service is ensuring that we deliver effective interventions. The approaches are informed by the latest research on what works for adoptive families. Each therapist will work with families to put together an agreed therapeutic plan with clear goals. All therapeutic work is supervised by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and specialist supervisors depending on the specific approach. The work is evaluated and written reports made available.

Costs

The cost of therapy will depend on each families individual requirements and will vary according to the duration of therapy and type of intervention. A detailed costing can be provided. All of our therapy services are covered by the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) and we will guide you and your placing Local Authority with their submission to the ASF.

Contact us
For more details

Call or email Therapy Services co-ordinator, Lisa Haslam at: lisa.haslam@adoptionmatters.org or call on 0300 123 1066

Enquire Now

Please send us an enquiry for more information or
alternatively, contact us through one of these channels...

Tel:
Email:
Address:

01925 982 243
info@centreforadoptionsupport.org
Centre for Adoption Support, Unit 412b, Chadwick House, Birchwood Park, Warrington,
WA3 6AE

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