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Course Details

CPD Adoption Course - The Fundamentals of Working with Adoption (4 Days)

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40 hours total including reading.
Short Course
Anyone who works with adoptive families, individuals or children including; Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Mental Health Nurses, Child therapists, Art & Play therapists, Drama & Movement therapists and aligned professionals.
Woking - Course venue to be confirmed, Woking, GU22 7AH, Surrey, United Kingdom

Course Introduction

This CPD course is specifically designed for anyone who works with adoptive families, individuals or children and young people in a facilitative, therapeutic, assessment or helping role.

Adoption changes everything forever for everyone involved with everyone within the adoption triad suffering multiple losses. There have been significant changes in adoption over the past two decades, and the Adoption & Children’s Act 2002 was an attempt for legislation to catch up. Adoption is supposed to offer children a safe and nurturing environment to enable positive growth, while at the same time give adoptive parents and especially in the case of childlessness, the opportunity to become parents and offer a permanent, secure home. However there is an additional layer of complexity due to developmental trauma experienced by children who are being adopted, and this can increase the risk of later adoption breakdown.

Adoption fundamentally affects children, the birth parents and their families and the adoptive parents and their families, all of whom have their own individual processes. These internal processes are influenced by how an individual interprets and makes sense of the information they receive through the senses. Information processing and memory systems are unique for each person as they are an integral part of each person’s attachment strategies. Understanding this enables for more effective and appropriate therapeutic intervention and care planning. This course will integrate the only evidence-based and comprehensive developmental theory of attachment, the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment & Adaptation (Crittenden, 2003).

Children living in a threatening environment albeit physical, sexual, emotional or neglectful adapt to function and protect themselves within the family. Removal from the birth family challenges the child’s way of protecting themselves, and self-protective behaviours can be seen as bizarre, odd, malicious, manipulative, controlling or clingy within the non-threatening adoptive home. The adoptive parents’ attachment behaviours can also become the new threat for the child. Children in adoptive families are not always seen or understood within this context, and this can lead to a perpetuation of feelings about themselves which were formed from their earlier experiences.

Professionals and those who are in a position to help can fall into the trap of pathologising or diagnosing, which can lead to adoptive parents and families believing that the child is the problem. In turn adoptive children can become a repository for many negative feelings and beliefs. Many children and adoptive families who have received help have fed back that problems are exacerbated by traditional methodologies which are used to understand the child’s behaviour. As well as pathologising the child, parents who already feel de-skilled in their parental role can become demonised. This can occur due to the lack of knowledge and experience of the complex nature of developmental attachment processes, for both the child and parents. It is not helpful or sufficient to solely label the child or adult as ambivalent, avoidant or disorganised (Main & Solomon 1986). Instead what is needed is a fuller, more helpful and useable method of understanding how each family member protects themselves as each member has their own way of protecting themselves, and it is this interplay that needs to be understood.

Work with adoptive families is about how to bring them together while facilitating the re-organising of the child’s and parents’ self-protective strategies to be more able to successfully co-create their life worlds. This course will be exploring issues of developmental trauma and how this leads to the development of self-protective attachment strategies.

This four day course can be a stand-alone CPD course and there is an opportunity to build on the fundamentals of working with those affected by adoption with further CPD courses that will specifically focus on working with children, working with adolescents and a third module on working with adoptive parents, working with adult adoptees, working with birth parents and a module for social workers on post adoption assessments for families

What are the aims of this CPD Adoption Course?

  • To enhance awareness about how attachment styles and protective strategies of children and parents interact and co-create what happens within the family system.
  • Clarify the legislative and legal framework of working with adoptive families.
  • Explore the different types of adoption and how these impact those involved and the most common adoption practices in the UK.
  • Explore and examine the multiple losses experienced by the child, birth family and adoptive family.
  • Gain an understanding of the how current attachment theory has developed since Mary Ainsworth.
  • To examine how each self-protective strategy can manifest.
  • Gain an understanding of the adoption process from the perspective of the birth parents, child, the adoptive parents and social worker.
  • Learn how to assess and plan effective interventions with adoptive families.
  • Make use of live supervision and share experiences of working with adoptive families.
  • Enhance understanding of the self-protective functions of narratives and how these are used to make meaning and perceive the world.
  • Learn how to make use of theory to inform practice.
  • Examine and identify practice challenges and opportunities when working with adoptive families.
  • Learn how memory systems and information processing are an integral aspect of attachment.

Course dates, price and venue

Course dates:  Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 November 2019 (Module 1) and Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 November 2019 (Module 2)

Course times:  9:30 start to 17:30 finish

Course duration: 4 days total, split into 2 x 2 day modules

CPD hours: 28 hours

Course commitment: 40 hours total including pre-course reading

Course price: £500.00 per attendee

Course venue: The course venue will be in Woking, Surrey (the course venue will be confirmed in due course)

For more information and to book please visit our website.

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