Blog: Post adoption support: What kind of support can you expect?

Here at PACT we help create families through adoption every day. But for anyone who adopts with PACT, our commitment to each family doesn’t end when a child is placed. The post adoption support we offer our families here at PACT carries on for as long as our families need us!

As part of the process to becoming a parent through adoption, prospective adopters will have had preparation training where they will have learned about the needs of many of the children waiting for adoption and some of the ways that their experiences may impact on their development and their behaviour.

Every child placed for adoption will have experienced loss. Many will have suffered trauma such as abuse or neglect. Every adopter should be prepared for their child or children to need help to understand their life experiences. Sometimes families will be equipped to support their child themselves but other times they will need to reach out to their adoption agency.

PACT recognises that all adopters and their children will need support from time to time. We want to support parents to help their children develop to their full potential so we provide a wide range of post adoption support for adoptive parents and their children.

Children And Trauma Community Hub – CATCH

The Children And Trauma Community Hub (CATCH)  is an online support platform, which all PACT adopters can access for free at a time that suits them. The service provides webinars, eLearning courses, forums, peer-to-peer support via webchat and a vast range of resources on all sorts of topics.

CATCH provides a safe, confidential space for adopters to support one another and a place to go for advice outside of working hours.

Adopter Champions

PACT has a team of adopter champions who are experts by experience! They are adoptive parents themselves who have built up experience and knowledge and can give other parents an insight into understanding their children’s needs and behaviours.

PACT adopter Lisa and her family were supported by the adopter champions service. Read Lisa’s story here

Strengthening Families Team

PACT has a team of in-house therapeutically-trained social workers who can provide advice or reassurance to parents both before and after placement.

Some families may need post adoption support to help with bonding and attachment, or others may ask for support at times of change in their child’s life such as a house move, family bereavement or difficulties at school.

Family and Children Therapeutic Support (FACTS)

Children who have experienced trauma before being adopted may have difficulties forming healthy relationships within their new permanent family. Our FACTS service offers a wide range of therapeutic clinical assessments and therapies including Theraplay, art, play and drama therapies, therapeutic life journey work and therapeutic parenting support packages.

The FACTS therapeutic model is firmly based on theory, research and practice models within the complex trauma/attachment perspective and many families find the post adoption therapy choices really helpful.

Training

PACT has a range of adoption training courses for prospective and approved adopters. Current courses on offer include Talking to Children About Adoption, Becoming a Blended Family and PACT Parenting as well as a course for the family and close friends of PACT adopters.

Activity events

PACT holds fun activity events both face to face and online which each session tailored to specific age groups of children. These events are ideal for parents and children to meet other adoptive families.

Adopter support groups

Our adopter support groups, currently being held online, are a way for parents to meet up virtually, to share advice and talk through issues.

Family Fun Days

Every year we hold fun days for PACT families to come together for a picnic, activities and mutual support.

Families tell us that the children enjoy meeting new friends and parents often build life-long support networks based on their shared experiences.

Adoptee Voices

We run sessions for teenagers and young people adopted through PACT to enable them to connect with other adopted young people and chat about topics important to them. There are different activities for each age group and past events have included pizza nights and rock climbing!

Education support

PACT has a specialist education worker who is available to provide support and advice to all PACT families when embarking on the admissions process and to work with schools to improve their understanding on how developmental trauma may affect a child’s behaviour within the classroom setting.

All families who adopt through PACT have access to a vast array of support options through the post adoption support services, to help them navigate the challenges that they may face, whether that’s immediately after placement or many years later. We are proud to say PACT is there for its families for life.